Sunday, June 30, 2013


We now come to the name “El Shaddai” as we consider the names of our LORD and what they reveal to us about Him.  It was interesting to me to note God’s words to Moses as I looked for verses shedding light on this name.

Exodus 6:3 “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”

It was as El Shaddai, God Almighty, that God first identified Himself to the man chosen to father a people set apart as God’s chosen instruments to declare Him to the nations.  He first established Himself as all powerful to lay a foundation of trust to be accepted as YHWH, Jehovah, the self-existent, eternal God.  Even now I just can’t fully comprehend that concept, but I do believe it without a doubt; and that belief is strongly rooted in His proof of Himself as “the Almighty.”  One can’t honestly read the scripture today in light of how history has unfolded according to His prophecies and not see the revelation of Almighty God that is outside time and can declare the future hundreds and thousands of years in advance.

As referenced above, God first revealed Himself to Abram as “Almighty God.”

Genesis 17:1 “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly…. and thou shalt be a father of many nations.”

To be “almighty” is to be “unlimited in might, omnipotent and irresistible.” 
Webster defines omnipotent as being “able in every respect and for every work.”  This would include the ability to be our Creator.  To be “irresistible” is to be always successful and undefeatable.  In my mind this definition limits the term “almighty” as only rightfully attributed to Jehovah. 

As Almighty God He could ask Abram to live a life of integrity and sincerity before Him because He had the ability to enable Abram to obey that request.  Believers today are even more blessed than was Abram because we have been given the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower and strengthen us as we seek to show our love to God and serve Him in obedience.

As God Almighty, He declared His ability to make Abram fruitful and a father of many nations; and He changed his name to Abraham in light of that promise.  Only Almighty God has the power to open and close wombs according to His will.

Genesis 20:18 “For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech….”

Genesis 29:31 “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb….”

Genesis 30:22 “And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.”

Psalms 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

In fact, scripture declares that He is intimately involved in the creation of every child.

Psalms 139:15–16 “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

Oh how it must grieve Almighty God to see how little we treasure the precious gift of every life! 

As Almighty God, He chose to allow man the privilege of choice to love and obey Him or not.  The time is coming, however, when His eternal family will be deemed complete.  At that time those who love Him will get to enjoy eternity in fellowship with Him, and those who have rejected Him will be forever cast from His presence.

John 5:28–29 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

John 14:2–3 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

2 Thessalonians 1:7–9 “…when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord….”

It is God’s desire that all men would come to repentance, but He will not force you.

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

John 3:16–17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Thursday, June 27, 2013

God's Promises & "In the Beginning"

I am going to interrupt my postings on the names of God to share a couple of thoughts with you that popped up in my mind while I was on the elliptical this morning.  If I don’t share them now, I might forget.

I am always bothered by those who declare that we can’t apply the principles declared in the promises of God to Israel, His people, to those of us in the church, His people.  My bible says that God never changes.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I change not….”

Yes, there are promises that are specific to the nation of Israel, but those that declare principles of how God acts are applicable to all of God’s people.  I was reading in scripture yesterday and the following verse in Jeremiah that testifies to the truth of my conclusion jumped out at me.

Jeremiah 18:7–8 “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.”

Though the wording is a bit different, it declares the same principle as God’s declaration to Solomon recorded in Chronicles.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

In fact, Jeremiah declares that the principle of repentance being key to staying God’s hand of judgment is applicable to any nation—not just His people.  The promise of forgiveness and healing predicated on seeking restored fellowship through an humble prayer of repentance that is proved by our actions is only available to “His people.”

This next thought is totally unrelated, but my thoughts go all kinds of directions sometimes.  I was thinking again of creation and my understanding of their being a gap of indeterminate time between verses 1 and 2.  My thinking has nothing to do with proving the age of the earth or trying to turn the days of creation in something other than 24 hour days.  I believe in a young earth and 7 literal days of creation.  I believe the record is worded to make allowance for the fall of Satan and those angels that chose to follow him instead of God. 

I think that verse two states that the earth became a desolation and ruin as a result of that rebellion because the next thing that God does is call forth light to shine in the darkness.  I don’t think this would have been the case if there had not been the intervening rebellion and introduction of darkness into creation.
Scripture tells us: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”  1 John 1:5 

Throughout scripture darkness is associated with wickedness and evil.
Job 30:26 “When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.”

Matthew 6:23 “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

Ephesians 6:12 “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.”

Just in case you are interested….

Monday, June 24, 2013


In this post we will begin looking at other names of God that are not combined with Yhwh or Jehovah.  In Genesis 14 Melchizedek blesses Abram as a servant of the “most high God,” El Elyon.  This name is a reference to God’s supremacy over all of creation.

Genesis 14:19–20 “And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.”

Note that God is identified as the “possessor” of heaven and earth.  I thought it was interesting to see that the Hebrew for that word references God both as Creator and Redeemer.  It is an early affirmation of the truth recorded by Peter that God had the plan of redemption in place even before He created heaven and earth.

1 Peter 1:18–20 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world….”

Melchizedek also recognizes El Elyon as He that can empower His servants to defeat their enemies—be they human or supernatural—as affirmed by the Apostle Paul.

Ephesians 6:12–13 “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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

The prophet Daniel also talks about Elyon, “the most High.”  He uses this name to declare that when God establishes His kingdom on earth, the saints, true followers of God, will take possession of that kingdom forever.

Daniel 7:18 & 22 “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever….Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”

God as “the most High” is in ultimate control of the outcome of the war for control on planet earth.  Though the devil has been given temporary reign as the “god of this world” when he succeeded in getting man to sin, he is destined to lose.  Though possessed with a desire to position himself as God’s equal… 

Isaiah 14:13–14 “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

…he will never achieve his goal.  I think it is significant to note that Satan not only desires to rule on planet earth, but also wants to rule “above the heights of the clouds,” the heavenly realm. 

King David recognized Elyon as He who only has to utter His voice to direct the lightning to accomplish His purposes.  As Creator He established channels or currents in the oceans.  With the breath of His voice He can roll back the waters to expose the land that forms their foundation as He did when He delivered the Israelites from Egypt. 

2 Samuel 22:14–16 “The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them. And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.”

In light of Bible prophecy there is one other verse that I want to highlight regarding the “most High.”

Deuteronomy 32:8 “When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”

In this verse the Holy Spirit reveals through Moses that God was the One who determined the inheritance or boundaries of the nations and determined their population in accordance with the number of the children of Israel.  I believe this is a reference to the table of nations recorded in Genesis 10, and that the nations there recorded form the primary people groups on planet earth.  No matter how determined the nations on earth are to eradicate Israel from the table of nations, they will fail.  God has chosen Israel as His portion and according to His covenant with Abraham will establish His descendants in “all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.” 

Friday, June 21, 2013


We will contemplate in this post on the name of God that identifies Him as the LORD our shepherd.  What child of God can hear this name without immediately thinking of the 23rd Psalm.

Psalms 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

There are other places in scripture that identify the LORD in the person of Jesus as the “good” shepherd, the “chief” shepherd and the “great” shepherd.

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

1 Peter 5:4 “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

Hebrews 13:20–21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

So, why does scripture make such a big deal about identifying the LORD as our Shepherd?  Because it reveals so much about the heart of God toward us.  A shepherd is responsible for the welfare of the sheep in his flock.  Just as with those in every other area of responsibility, there will be some who are good and some who are bad.  There will also be those that do their job so well that they are the standard by which all others in their position are held.  The LORD is not only our Shepherd, He is our good and great Shepherd—the Chief Shepherd.

With Psalm 23 as our guide let’s see what this name of the LORD reveals about His relationship to His people, His sheep.

Psalms 23:2 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 

The shepherd is responsible for providing healthy nourishment for the sheep.  Even more important than the physical nourishment He provides us, the LORD provides for our spiritual nourishment.  In fact, He provides Himself as the actual “bread of life,” the Holy Spirit to quench our thirst and His word to sustain continued growth.

John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

John 7:37–39 “…Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive….)”

1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby….”

Psalms 23:3 “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

The “soul” makes reference to our whole being.  There are times when we may be fine physically, but with great need spiritually.  Other times we may be doing fine spiritually, but find ourselves in physical need.  The Lord is a shepherd that can provide nourishment, healing and protection in both areas. 

A good shepherd is always leading his flocks to places that benefit them.  The LORD, our spiritual Shepherd, always leads us in directions that are righteous and good.  His desire for us is to live holy lives.

Leviticus 20:7 “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.”

1 Peter 1:15–16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

Psalms 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Sheep have complete trust in the shepherd.  As His sheep, we too can trust implicitly in the LORD as our Shepherd.  No matter how dangerous the situation, even to the point of facing death, the child of God has nothing to fear.  As discussed in the previous post, our Shepherd is always with us working all for good.  The rod and staff are tools the shepherd uses to discipline and protect his sheep.  The LORD just as surely disciplines and protects us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit as He teaches us according to God’s word and convicts us of sin.  I also believe that the angels often act on His behalf in protecting and comforting us.

Hebrews 1:13–14 “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

I think it is important to note that as the “good Shepherd,” Jesus was willing to sacrifice His life to provide us eternal life.  As the “chief Shepherd” the LORD will reward us with the crown of glory that is part of our eternal inheritance as believers.  As the “great Shepherd” He is ever working to exhort us to do His will and all that is pleasing to Him. 

There is another important truth embodied in this picture of the LORD as our Shepherd.  A shepherd knows his sheep and the sheep know their shepherd.  Jesus applied this truth to those that choose to accept His gift of salvation and become his followers.

John 10:27–30 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”

Those who profess to know Jesus yet have no interest in following Him in obedience give testimony to a false profession of faith.  Those who evidence the truth of their profession by following Him in obedience are assured of eternal life because they are held securely in the hand of both the Son and the Father—Almighty God.  Let me clarify that I am not saying that a true follower of Jesus will never sin; we will and we do.  However, when we sin, it is accompanied by guilt and regret and a desire to repent and do better.  Jesus addressed this truth when teaching the disciples how to pray.

Luke 11:4 “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

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

There is one other section of scripture that I want to share in light of prophecy that compares Jesus to a shepherd.

Matthew 25:31–34, 41 & 46 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world….Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels….And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

This scripture declares a blessed truth regarding the eternal future of the believer and a terrible truth regarding the eternal future of those that reject God.  The future will prove that God’s truth will prevail despite the arguments of man to the contrary.  I pray that you are among those made righteous through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

(to be continued…)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Interestingly enough, the only place in scripture that I could find reference to this name of the Lord is from the prophet Ezekiel.  In context, he is identifying this name of Jesus with the name of the city of Jerusalem during the millennium, the time when Jesus will rule the world from the throne of David for 1000 years.

Ezekiel 48:35 “…and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.”

Though this is a description of the Lord’s physical presence in Jerusalem at that time, it is actually a valid statement of truth concerning the life of every believer, every trusting child of God.  God is always present with us through His indwelling Holy Spirit. 

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

One of my favorite sections of scripture is Psalm 139; in it the psalmist makes a beautiful declaration of that truth.

Psalms 139:7–10 “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”

The inescapable presence of the LORD is a comfort to every child of God.  Even when we stumble and make choices that we wish we hadn’t, we can rest in the truth that God is not going to give up on us or reject us.  He is going to finish the work of salvation that He initiated in our lives.

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ….”

God is a loving Father.  He will allow us to suffer the consequences of our choices to the intent of producing the fruit of righteousness in our lives.  I believe many, if not most, parents today seek to protect their children from the consequences of their choices to their detriment.  Consequences provide one means of effective deterrent against repeating the same bad choices.

The significant truth declared by the psalmist is that no matter in what circumstances His child might find him/herself as a consequence of choices made, God is always there to “lead” him as he remains firm in His grasp.  The fact that God leads us with His hand is a statement of personal interaction in our lives that is rooted in His love and concern for us.  He wants us to become the treasured vessels He created us to be.  Job understood this truth and stated his understanding of its application to his life beautifully.

Job 23:10 “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

The child of God also finds great comfort in the truth that he/she is firmly held in the grasp of the Almighty.  In Bible times the right hand was recognized as a symbol of strength.  When the psalmist references being held in God’s right hand, it is a specific reference to His matchless power and our everlasting security.  Jesus also made a point of this very truth in another one of my favorite sections of scripture.

John 10:27–30 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”

There are many that teach that a person can lose his/her salvation.  Frankly, I think this is a shameful misrepresentation of the truth of God’s word.  Scripture reveals that when a person accepts the LORD as Savior, the indwelling Holy Spirit is given Him as the earnest, or statement of security of our eternal inheritance.

Ephesians 1:3, 10-14 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

It is this truth that allows John to say with confidence concerning those who turned their back on their “professed” faith:  “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 
1 John 2:19

The sad truth is that many make professions of faith without actually possessing true faith.  One who possesses saving faith will be led by the Spirit of God.  It is that indwelling Spirit that encourages us to call out to God as our Father for our every need.

Romans 8:14–17 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

It is the indwelling Spirit of Jehovah-Shammah that sanctifies, strengthens and sustains us for His use.

1 Corinthians 6:11 “…but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Psalms 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalms 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

(to be continued…)

Saturday, June 15, 2013


The name of God that is the subject of this post is used only by the prophet Jeremiah and only twice.  The context of each is significant to the future in connection with Bible prophecy.  In each instance the LORD is revealing His plan to place a righteous descendant of David to serve as King on the throne of Israel from which he will rule over the whole earth.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

Jeremiah 33:14-16 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.  In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.”

The fulfillment of this prophecy is critical to the testimony of the character of YHWH, the self-existent, eternal God.  Scripture everywhere declares that God is a covenant keeper and that His word never fails.

When God established David on the throne of Israel, He promised that David would never lack a descendant to his throne and that his kingdom would endure forever.

2 Samuel 7:8–16 “Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel…I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more… And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever…thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”

Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

The people of Israel were scattered among the nations due to God’s judgment for rejecting the Messiah; the nation was no longer recognized as and entity among the family of nations.  There is still no descendant of David on the throne in Israel.  Just as surely as Israel has reemerged from the boneyard of the nations of history as prophesied by Ezekiel…

Ezekiel 37:1–11 “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones…and, lo, they were very dry….Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. …. and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel….”

…so too will the LORD establish His King, Jesus His Son and the son of David, on the throne of David to rule the world.

Luke 1:30–33 “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

Revelation 20:4 “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

After that thousand years Satan and those who chose to follow him will be condemned to eternal punishment, and the eternal throne of God will be established in the new heavens and earth from the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:1–5 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

Revelation 22:3 “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:”

I could get off on a whole other tangent, but will restrain myself.  There is one more thing, however, that stood out to me as I read this name--THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  It is only in Jesus that we can be declared righteous before God; He is literally our righteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:18–21 “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ….For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

It is still beyond my understanding how God can love us so much!  I am so grateful for His love and forgiveness.  One of my favorite verses connects with the heart of the Psalmist.

Psalms 17:15 “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”

When I see God’s face, He will see me pure and righteous through the blood of His Son.  Finally, I will reflect a true likeness of His image, the image we were created to reflect, the image of our Creator.  I can hardly wait!

(to be continued…)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


The subject name of this post is introduced in the book of 1Samuel.  “The LORD of hosts” makes reference to God as the leader of a great army of His servants.  It is a name that alludes to the great power of God and is the name that David claimed in faith as he faced the mighty Goliath.

1 Samuel 17:45 “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”

I believe that this address was in recognition of the might army of angels that serve God on our behalf as revealed to the eyes of Elisha’s servant in answer to Elisha’s prayer.

2 Kings 6:16–17 & 20-21 “And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”

Other scripture supports the truth that God’s armies of angels are fighting in the spiritual realm to bring about God’s purposes on behalf of His people in the physical realm. 

2 Kings 19:32&35 “Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it….And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”

1 Chronicles 21:15 “And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand.”

Daniel 10:12–13 & 20-21 “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia…. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.”

Hebrews 1:13–14 “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

Even mighty King Nebuchadnezzar recognized this truth. 

Daniel 4:34–35 “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

It is also important to note from the verses in Daniel 10 that God’s angels are waging war with evil spiritual forces that are also working to accomplish their own purposes in the physical realm.  Paul clearly states that believers are in a constant battle against these evil forces—the forces of Satan.

Ephesians 6:11–12 “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.”

The name the “LORD of hosts” is used in recognition of the truth that God can and does intervene on our behalf according to His will to accomplish what seems to us to be impossible.  Hannah prayed to the “LORD of hosts” with a desperate plea for a son and a vow to give him back to the service of the LORD.  She prayed with faith in the LORD of hosts as having all power—even the power to make a barren woman conceive and give birth to a child, and not just a child, a son.

1 Samuel 1:11 “And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”

Important to bible prophecy is the truth declared in scripture that it is the “LORD of hosts” that is not only the God of Israel, but also of the whole earth.  It is He who is our Redeemer, and the day is coming when He will be revered among all the nations.

Isaiah 54:5 “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”

Isaiah 45:22–23 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”

Malachi 1:11 “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.”

No matter how many times the nations of the world call for the nation of Israel to be wiped off the face of the map, the “LORD of hosts” has declared that Israel will stand before Him as a nation just as surely as the sun, moon and stars shine in the heavens.

Jeremiah 31:35–36 “Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.”

In light of the fact that the scripture identifies the days in which we live as the times announcing the soon return of the LORD Jesus to establish His kingdom, every child of God should be living in accordance with the words of the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 8:13 “Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”

We should live so as to bring honor to His name.  We should have a healthy fear of Him as Judge and Avenger and do our best to declare the gospel so that others may escape the wrath to come.  The best way to share that truth is to live in obedience and faithfulness to our Redeemer, the “LORD of hosts,” and follow His example to serve one another in love.

(to be continued…)