The Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 4)

         Christians have been unknowingly conditioned to perceive God and the Lord Jesus as two completely different people. How did this happen? Why is it that despite a veritable plethora of pure scriptural references to the absolute deity of Jesus He remains relegated to second-class status? Why do the majority of Christians refuse to give the Lord Jesus His due and honor Him as God?

         It is not enough to say Jesus is God if one continues to see God as someone other than Jesus. Christians often use the terminology, “God and Jesus.” I once saw a Christian t-shirt with the message, “You and me and God make five.” If there was anything at all that the ancient Hebrews learned from YHWH, despite all their backsliding, sin, and later misinterpretation of Scripture, it was one of the greatest facts of all time: God is ONE.

         “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” [Deuteronomy 6:4]

         Yet, from this very clear and strong statement, Christians have redefined what the word “one” means much as someone else in our recent national past attempted to redefine what the word “is” is.

         In Christianese, “one” no longer necessarily means one. One Person now means three persons. “One” now means that the three persons of the “Godhead” [1] are merely united.   

         But that is not at all what YHWH was stating through Moses in the above verse. Moses knew God. He knew Him well, much better than the vast majority of us. There was a relational closeness between the two that was one of the closest anyone prior to New Covenant times had achieved.

         Moses actually SAW God:

         Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”

         And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.” [Exodus 33:18-23]

         Since God is Spirit, what is meant in this passage by God’s “face,” God’s “hand,” and God’s “back?” Just Who was “walking” in the garden in the cool of the day looking for Adam and Eve? This phraseology can be explained as a Hebrew manner of speaking or idiom, but there is no doubt with reference to God’s oneness. There was no divine committee in the garden, and no trinity on Mount Sinai with Moses.

         Theologians have utilized a word, “theophany,” which denotes a visible manifestation of God, often in the form of a human being. Of course, God only became a human being once, so any reference to God as a human being prior to the incarnation of Jesus must be studied. Angels often took the form of humanity. God can certainly do anything He wants anytime He wants. In perhaps the clearest and most forthright Old Testament manifestation of God into humanity, we have this:

         Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth… [Genesis 18:1-2] [2]

         As one reads the rest of the narrative, he discovers that these three men were YHWH and two angels. The two angels later went to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family before YHWH destroyed the entire region due to the gross wickedness of its inhabitants.

         Therefore, YHWH appeared as a human being to Abraham. Though theologians might refer to this as a mere theophanic manifestation, the facts are clear that this Person stood, walked, sat down, ate, drank, and spoke openly to Abraham and the two angels. He prophesied that Isaac would be conceived and birthed through miraculous means. Also, this divine visit took place right after Abraham partook in the covenant of circumcision, in which he, Ishmael, and every single male of his household were circumcised.

         Isn’t it interesting that whenever real repentance and commitment take place, and when the covenant of full heart circumcision in the Lord’s blood and His Name is ratified, one receives a full revelation of Jesus?

         And isn’t it also quite interesting that prior to such, “God” remains a mystery?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 4 of 10]


[1] Bad translation as derived from the KJV from the Greek words theios, theiotes, and theotes. See Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, and Colossians 2:9 respectively. A good translation uses the terms Divine Nature and Deity.

[2] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Posted on October 8, 2011, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thanks Bob, what a Joy it is to join with you in the fellowship of believers as we proclaim (testify to) the Truth in our souls and strive to exhibit the love of Jesus (God) in our lives. I believe this Joy is not of us but of our union in the Spirit in Holy Communion with all believers. Our Joy is made complete when we can share this blessed fellowship in a way that we, led by the Spirit, help lead others to experience the same blessedness.

    The tesimony of John in 1 John 1-4 gives us insight as to how this should play out in our lives as we testitfy to the presence of “the eternal life” in ourselves and other believers.

    Introduction, The Incarnate Word
    1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. New American Standard Bible (NASB).

    Even though we are not eye witnesses as were the early disciples, the blessings and joy are still availble through the strenght of our faith, His mercy and grace. John 20:29

    29 Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”(NASB)

    Like

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