Tag Archives: Abraham

Does God have a name?

We find lots of foreign gods mentioned by name throughout the Bible, while God Almighty is almost exclusively mentioned as “LORD God” in our English Translations.

Some of the foreign deities mentioned in the Bible include Tammuz (Ezek 8:14), Baal (1Kin 18:25,26), Dagon (1Sam 5:2), Baalpeor (Psalms 106:28), Chemosh (Judges 11:24), Ashtoreth & Milcom (1Kings 11:5), Nisroch (2Kin 19:37), Nergal / Ashima / Nibhaz / Tartak / Adrammelech / Anammelech (2Kin 17:30,31), Rimmon(2Kin 5:18), Baalzebub (2Kin 1:2), Zeus & Hermes (Acts 14:12), Artemis (Acts 19:24).

But is it true that God Almighty, who we believe made the Heavens and Earth did not have a name among men? Was He always known by a title such as “God” or “Lord”? Or did He have a name? Not one that man had made up for Him, but one that He made known to man?

Some would question whether it is of any importance to know such a name or whether it really matters. From the beginning of time mentioned in the scriptures, we read that God named people from Adam(Gen 5:2), Abraham(Gen 17:5), Sarah(Gen 17:15), Isaac(Gen 17:19), Jacob/Israel(Gen 35:10) and a number of others upto John(Luke 1:13) and even our Messiah “Yeshua” – Jesus’ true name (Mat 1:21). All of the names which God gave people had meaning, purpose and a prophetic nature in them. For example, Abraham meant “Father of a multitude” & Yeshua meant “God’s Salvation”.

If names given to humans were of such importance to God, wouldn’t His own name have even a little significance in our lives? And if such a name does exist, why do we not know, or use this name?

God speaks of His name throughout the Bible
Exo 9:16  But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.
Num 6:27  “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”
Jer 23:27  who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?

Our English translations portray His NAME as “the LORD
Hos 12:5  the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD is his memorial name
Isa 42:8  I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
Exo 3:15  God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the 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 thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
Exo 33:19  And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Lev 19:12  You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
Lev 22:2  “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to me, so that they do not profane my holy name: I am the LORD.
Jer 16:21  “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD.”
Eze 39:7  “And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
Zec 13:9  They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’
Psa 135:13 Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
Psa 9:10  And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Micah 4:5 For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.

So is God’s name “LORD”?
Confusing as it sounds, wherever “LORD” (in capital letters) is mentioned in our English Bibles, the Original Manuscripts of the Scriptures, which were written in Hebrew, read “יהוה“.
(Strong’s Hebrew Concordance – H3068 – יהוה – yehôvâh – yeh-ho-vaw’)
These 4 Hebrew letters can be equaled to “YHVH” in English. Pronounced as Yahweh, Yehovah or Jehovah. (Although we will not get into the correct pronunciation, which we will tackle in a future study, my personal studies have shown the most accurate pronunciation would be “Yehovah”. I will share my findings on this, with you on a later date as I am still collating enough evidence.)

What does all of this mean? It means we have been calling the creator of heaven and earth as “Lord” and “God” which are mere titles, when He clearly showed that His name is “YHVH”(Yehovah). In Exodus 3:15, our Creator, introduced Himself to Moses saying “Say this to the people of Israel, Yehovah”, the 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 thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

“YHVH” is used over 6000 times in our bibles, and each time it has been changed to “the LORD”. Whenever you see “LORD” in capital letters in your English Bibles, it should actually carry “YHVH” instead. (“LORD” should not be confused with “Lord”. The word “LORD” in our English Bibles has replaced “YHVH”, while “Lord” is amongst many titles given to “YHVH”. You can clearly see the difference here, when Moses refers to God as “YHVH” and calls Him, his “Lord” –  Exo 4:10  But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”)

The Hebrew word “יהוה“(YHVH) which appear as “LORD” in English capital letters over 6000 times in the Bible, has also been preserved as “Jehovah” in 4 places in our English versions.
Exo 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.
Psa 83:18  That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
Isa 12:2  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isa 26:4  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Even though the exact pronunciation should have been “Yehovah” (the “Ja” sound is not in the Hebrew vocabulary), we should be happy to at least see the holy name for ourselves printed in our bibles in some way.

The Poetic form of God’s Name, in HALLELUYAH!
If you have ever sung or said “Halleluyah!”, you have already proclaimed God’s name in it’s poetic Form “YAH”. The word we use as “Halleluyah” is actually a combination of 2 Hebrew words. (H1984 – הלל – hâlal – haw-lal’ which means “Praise”) and (H3050 – יהּ – yâhh – yaw which is the first part or first 2 letters of “יהוה” YHVH). Whenever you say “Halleluyah”, you are not merely saying “Praise be to God”. You are in fact praising His name, saying “Praise be to Yehovah”.

This poetic form “YAH” can be seen close to 50 times in the scripture (Mainly in Psalms used along side הלל – “HALLAL” which means “Praise”) It is even preserved in our English version in, Psa 68:4  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. (A better way to read and write this word would be “YAH”, instead of “JAH” as the “J” sound is not in the Hebrew vocabulary)

In the Scriptures, God’s name “Yehovah” was combined with other words to give him more glory, such as

  • Gideon built an Altar to God calling it Yehovah is Peace – Jdg 6:24  Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
  • Moses built an altar to God calling it Yehovah is my BannerExo 17:15  And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:
  • Abraham called the mountain top where he went to sacrifice Isaac as Yehovah will See (as in “see” to it)Gen 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.

In conclusion, I want to make a few points clear. I am not part of the denomination called “Jehovah’s Witnesses” nor do I approve of their doctrines. But the fact is, that they have come very close to the original name of God “YHVH” (The correct pronunciation should be  “Yehovah” and not “Jehovah”, which I will not get into right now).

A person who believes in God Almighty, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is in no way sinning by calling YHVH, by His titles which are “Lord” and “God”. But the fact is God’s name is “YHVH”, and it is better for us to know it, and use it, just as everyone in the Scriptures did. Which children do not know of their Father’s true name? Do we really want to fall into that category?

The answer to the question of whether the God of the Bible has a name is a clear “Yes”. And it is not merely LORD, as there are many “Lords” in the world. His name is not “God”, as there are many God’s in every nation. His Name has been, is, and will be, only “YHVH” (Yehovah).

Old Covenant abolished by New Covenant? Part I

One of the biggest arguments in Christianity is, whether the Old Covenant is in effect today or whether it is abolished and no more. I would like to pose a different question in the midst of all this confusion and misunderstandings.

Which Old Covenant?
Some are in the belief that there are only 2 Covenants in the Scriptures. Contrary to this belief God has made several Covenants with man from the beginning of creation. Before we can say that any Covenant is abolished, let us understand what these Covenants are and what God has said about them.

First of all, we need to understand what a Covenant means. A Covenant is an agreement between two parties. The party which has more authority/power could make a Covenant with the other party which includes or does not include certain conditions. After the other party in return agrees upon the Covenant, it is in effect. Blood was spilled as a sign of these contracts in ancient times.

The words “Covenant” and “Testament” written in the bible are the same. In the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, only one word is used wherever “Covenant” or “Testament” is seen in our English translations (Strong’s Greek Concordance – G1242 – διαθήκη – diathēkē – dee-ath-ay’-kay – a disposition, that is, (specifically) a contract (especially a devisory will): – covenant, testament).

Covenants God made with His creation

  • Covenant with Adam (Gen 2:16,17) (Hosea 6:7) –
    This Covenant had conditions. If Adam obeyed, he would have eternal life. Disobedience would cause him to die.
  • Covenant with Noah (Gen 9:9-17) –
    This is an Everlasting, Unconditional Covenant made with Noah, his seed & all living creatures. God promised that He will never again destroy the whole earth with a flood. The sign of this covenant was the Rainbow.
  • Covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, 6-7; 13:14-17; 15; 17:1-14; 22:15-18)
    This was an Everlasting, Conditional Covenant. God asked Abraham to leave his Country first. Then He required him to believe in the promises. He made sure Abraham knew about the slavery of Israel for 400 years. God gave him and his seed the land of Israel. God wanted him to walk before Him and be perfect. The sign of this Covenant was that every male of his seed and every servant bought with money, was to be circumcised. All the blessings which were promised were certified as Abraham obeyed even unto the degree of sacrificing his only son.
    This Covenant was renewed with Isaac (Gen 26:3-5, 24) and Jacob (Gen 28:13-15, 46:2-4)
  • Covenant with Israel through Moses (Exo chapter 19-24)
    This Covenant was a Conditional Covenant with many Everlasting Commandments/Laws(Exod 12:17,24, 21:6, 28:43, 30:21, Lev 3:16-17, 6:17-18, 20-22, 10:9, 15, 16:29, 34, 23:14, Num 19:21). While the person who kept these Commandments would be blessed, the person who broke it would be cursed (Deut 11:26-28). The sign of this Everlasting Covenant was the Seventh Day Sabbath (Exo 31:12-18)
  • Covenant with Aaron ( Exo 40:12-15, Num 25:12,13, Neh 13:29)
    God made an Everlasting Covenant with Aaron and his descendants to be the priests alongside the Tribe of Levi which was also consecrated for priestly duties.
  • Covenant with David (2Sam 7:8-16, 23:5, 2Chr 13:5, Jer 33:20,21)
    God made an Everlasting Covenant with David, where His people would always be ruled over by a descendant of David hinting to Messiah Yeshua(Hebrew name of Jesus) who will reign and rule over “His People – Israel”(Luk 1:32,33).
  • Covenant with the 2 Houses of Israel through Yeshua (Heb 8:8-10) (Jer 31:33,34) (Heb 13:20)
    The New Covenant which we are all familiar with, was spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 31. In verse 31, He says that He will make a New Covenant with The House of Israel & The House of Judah. In verse 33, He says that He will write His Law on peoples hearts. This is the same Covenant spoken in the Book of Hebrews chapter 8. According to verse 34, This Covenant will come to fulfillment when God’s kingdom is established with Yeshua ruling as king, as no one will need to teach another about God anymore.

Blood of the Covenant
Major Covenants with His People were always put into effect by shedding of blood.
1. Noah sacrificed animals before God made the Covenant (Gen 8:20)
2. Abraham sacrificed animals before God made the Covenant (Gen 15)
3. When God made the Covenant at Sinai, Moses sprinkled the Blood of the Covenant
(Exo 24:8, Heb 9:19,20)
4.Yeshua renewed the Covenant as per God’s Word in Jer 31 through shedding His blood (Mat 26:28, Mar 14:24, Luk 22:20, Heb 10:29, 12:24, 13:20)

Now that we understand a bit more about the Covenants in Scripture, lets look at what is commonly known as the Old and New Covenants.

Old Covenant vs. New Covenant
As you see above, there are many Covenants God made with His creation. Many of these Covenants were made by God as Everlasting Covenants as the Scriptures show us. What people generally mean by “Old Covenant” is the Covenant God made through Moses (The Mosaic Covenant) at Mount Sinai, while the Scriptures have also been broken into and commonly known as “Old Testament” & “New Testament”.

As our focus is on this Mosaic Covenant, and whether it is done away with, let us look at some important facts about this Covenant before we make our conclusions and find answers for any of the persisting misunderstandings.

  • The Mosaic Covenant is called an Everlasting Covenant and God says that He will not break His Covenant (Judg 2:1, Lev 26:44, Psa 89:34, 105:8-10, 111:7-9, 1Chr 16:15-17, Deu 5:29, 12:28)
  • The Mosaic Covenant was written with the finger of God (Deut 4:13) (Exo 31:18, 32:16)
  • The Mosaic Covenant was made with all 12 Tribes of Israel (Exo 19:5,6, 24:4)
  • The Mosaic Covenant was there for 3 reasons.
    1) It would bless the person who obeyed (Deut 11:26-28)
    2) It would curse the person who disobeyed (Deut 11:26-28)
    3) It would show right from wrong, sin from righteousness (Rom 7:7)
  • The Ten Commandments are the conditions, and part and parcel of the Mosaic Covenant (Deut 7:9, 4:13, Neh 1:5, Dan 9:4)

If the Old Covenant (Mosaic Covenant) is abolished after Yeshua, then we can no longer have the 10 Commandments. Jesus himself said we cannot break the least of the commandments, and that not the minutest detail will pass from it as long as heaven and earth exists (Mat 5:18,19).

The questions arise when you read some of the epistles of Paul, The Book of Hebrews and some verses in the Gospels. Paul and other writers of the “New Testament” seem to be saying that the Law and the Old Covenant is done away with, in some places.

We have a serious problem with our Bible if there are contradictions in the Scriptures. One verse cannot disagree with another. One author cannot disagree with another Author. All Scripture has to be in perfect harmony, as our God is not a God of Chaos, but of perfect order and peace.

As we saw earlier, The Mosaic Covenant as well as the New Covenant mentioned in Jer 31 & Heb 8 are both Everlasting Covenants. So how can one abolish the other? The New Covenant could be better understood as a “Renewed” Covenant. One does not abolish the other, but the “Older Covenant” is renewed by the “New Covenant”. This renewal happened by the shedding of the blood of Yeshua. If the Old Covenant was taken away, there would no longer be any Commandments. We would no longer need to adhere to God’s Laws, which mean there would be no yard stick for judgement. All of us will receive judgement at the end of time, according to Scripture. And God will not judge by our standards, but His own. If we were free from God’s Commandments, to do as each of us see fit, how would the righteous judge be able to judge us?

What about all the verses that say the Old Covenant is done away with?
Doesn’t Heb 8:13 say that the Old Covenant is ready to vanish away? Didn’t Jesus say the Law is Finished in Joh 19:31? Are we not free from the Law, and under Grace? Isn’t the Law a Curse? Wasn’t the Law nailed to the cross? Some even say that we do not have 10 Commandments any longer, and that we have only the 2 new Commandments that Yeshua gave us. In the next part of this study, we will delve into the meaning of “Law” and try to understand some of these misunderstood verses and see whether we can unravel the true meaning in them.

My request to you, is this. If you believe in a certain doctrine, Test it. See whether it is in perfect harmony with all of the verses in the Bible. If there are contradictions, most probably, something is wrong with the understanding you have. I hope this study has given you something to think about, and that it will help you to better understand the Word of God.

God’s Commandments, Laws & Statutes. Before or After Moses?

Many Christians tend to believe that God’s Commandments were not there(not available, not adhered to, not instituted) before Moses and the Covenant God made at Sinai. This is what I also used to believe, as this was what was taught to me, all my life.

Reading the Bible though, gives a completely different picture to this story. There are so many instances, we see the patriarchs keeping God’s Commandments, way before it was ever written down and passed down through Moses.

Today, we will try to get to the bottom of this subject and iron out some of the misconceptions it carries.

Cain & Abel
When did God require sacrificial offerings? Apparently, Long before Moses, Both Cain & Abel brought offerings to God Almighty. And it is a known fact that Cain’s offering was rejected while Abel’s offering was accepted. This story teaches us two important things. Firstly, There are offerings that are accepted and there are offerings that are rejected. And secondly, why was Abel’s offering accepted while Cain’s rejected? The reason “most probably” was that even though The commandments were not written down, Abel’s offering was in accordance with the Offering written down in chapter 3 in the Book of Leviticus by Moses and later adhered to, by all(1King 8:63,64). The Commandment was to offer the animal and it’s “Fat”.

Noah
We have all been taught that Noah took Animals of each kind into the Ark, two by two. Most people teach this to their kids, We even sing songs to that extent in our gatherings. But what is the truth? I would have read this passage a dozen times, but I never noticed this fact, till recently. In Gen 7:2 God tells Noah, “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female”. When I first “saw” this verse, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had read this chapter a dozen times, but I failed to see that God’s classification of “Clean” and “Unclean” animals, written down in Leviticus 11 had been there even at Noah’s time.

Furthermore, what’s interesting is that, in Gen 8:20,21, Noah built an altar an offered “Clean” animals to God. Again, where was it ever commanded to offer animal sacrifices to God before it was communicated through Moses?

Abraham
Gen 26:5, Highlights an amazing point. God promises Isaac to multiply his seed, “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws”. For Abraham to know God’s Ordinances, Commandments, Customs and Precepts, someone would have had to teach it to him. He did not only know them, this verse says Abraham kept all of it, a long time before Moses.

Abraham, in Gen 14:20, also gave tithes of all he had to Melchizedek, the priest of God Almighty. This was also long before Moses wrote down the laws of tithing.

In Gen 22, Abraham is asked to offer a Burnt Sacrifice by God, as well.

Jacob
In Gen 28:22, Jacob also makes a promise to God, to give a tenth of all that God gives him.

Walking with God, and being Perfect
In Gen 5:22, 24, It is said that Enoch walked with God. And similarly, in Gen 17:1, Abraham was asked to Walk before God and be Perfect. In Gen 6:9, Noah was called a just and Perfect person. Might there be a connection between obeying God(His Commandments, His Words) and Walking with Him and being perfect? (This is a study for another day)

So what does all of this mean?
Looking at the evidence in Genesis and the fact that God and His Word does not change
(Mal 3:6, Isa 44:6, Heb 13:8, Luke 16:17) Could it be, that the patriarchs kept God’s Commandments, His statutes & His Laws, even though it is not specifically mentioned? We know that Abraham definitely did. As Yeshua(Hebrew name of Jesus) said in John 10:35, If something is written in the Bible, “the Scripture cannot be broken”. In reference to Gen 26:5, no one can say that Abraham did not keep God’s Commandments, proving that Commandments were there long before Moses was even born.

I believe the Commandments would have been passed down from Father to Son. From Adam to Seth, and so on. God did instruct people to teach His words to their sons and the sons of their sons(Deut 4:9)

In conclusion, I believe, according to what we have read, what God did at Sinai through Moses, was to write down the Commandments, Statutes & Laws – The Word of God – so no one could say, that we do not know the ways of God Almighty. (Deut 30:11-13) His ways have always been known by His children from Creation.