Powerful rectification of all the New Age false teachings about God and a beautiful study of the power of His Name. Marla Ilona examines several of the false beliefs about the nature of God and studies the mystery of His true nature. We go to the scriptural root cause to understand why Satan doesn’t want us to know the true character and attributes of God. Beautiful prayer based on the Names of God.
This show is on who God really is and the power of His Name. This seems a no-brainer, of course we think we know who God is. But the reality is that this is a confused generation. Because our societies are so secular and we’ve pushed God out of our governments, our schools, and in many cases even out of our churches (mercy), many people don’t really know who God is. In addition, Eastern and pagan spiritual influences have penetrated our Western Christian societies and have even crept into the Church. So our knowledge of God is weakened and out of focus, which is a dangerous thing in the times we live. Our knowledge of God needs to be sharp and crisp and we need to have unwavering faith in His Word and His Power.
Of course, the devil has a vested interest in us not knowing who God is. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 says: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, 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, and from the glory of his power;” Satan doesn’t want us to know God because it is by knowing the true God that we are saved. The evil one will do everything in his power to hide and distort the true nature of God so that we do not know Him.
In today’s show we will begin by “Setting the Record Straight” on who God IS NOT, all the mistaken beliefs about God and inappropriate terms that are used to refer to Him. We will then zoom in on Who He IS, and the aspects and attributes of His character embodied in the different names by which He is referred to in the Old Testament.
God’s Name has great power. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:10 that “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into that tower and are safe.” We’ll then turn our attention to the Godhead, also known as the Holy Trinity (although the Bible never refers to the Trinity but instead uses the word Godhead) and revel in the mystery of the triune nature of God, Three Persons in one God. We also have a beautiful song for you as we enter into the study of the Names of God.
Who God is NOT
We’re faced today with a generation that is lost in a spiritual desert, confused and distracted, unaware of the great God who reigns over Heaven and Earth and over the entire universe. Tragically, many of those spiritual seekers are being deceived by the New Age, with its plethora of wrong teachings and false religions. It is especially sad because many of these seekers have real spiritual gifts that are being misused and misapplied. I can say this because this is what the Lord rescued me from.
Let’s set the record straight on some of those widespread terms and false beliefs that are so prevalent today, some even among Christians.
1) God is NOT energy:
This is one of the main misconceptions of our time: that God is energy or that God is positive energy. God is NOT energy. God is a divine being. God is a being who has thoughts and feelings and speaks with us. God also has a body, although it is a glorified body. The reason why Satan wants us to believe that God is energy is because you do not love energy. You may like energy if you like the effects of that energy, but you cannot love it like you love a person nor can you obey energy, and obedience is a very key point in our relationship with God.
You also cannot have a dialogue with energy nor reason with it. God said “Put Me in remembrance, let us contend together. State your case that you may be acquitted.” So the Lord invites us to come to Him with our petitions and state our reasons for requesting that which we are asking Him to do. Jesus said “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11). So God as a divine being feels great love for His children and His creation, and wants to give us good things.
2) God is NOT “the universe”:
Some people speak of God and the universe in one breath, as being the same thing. This is a pantheistic or pagan belief. Listen to how Wikipedia defines pantheism:
“Pantheism is the belief that the universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God. Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic God. Some Eastern religions are considered to be ‘pantheistically’ inclined.” (Source: Wikipedia.org)
The truth of the matter is that God is the Creator of all things, in Heaven and on Earth, and the entire universe is His creation and is submitted to Him. He is not to be confused with the universe, the Creator is not to be confused with the creation. Like an artist who expresses himself through his work, so God expresses Himself from His creation but is distinct from it. Creation has His signature, and that is the Sabbath. Listen to what God says in the Book of Exodus chapter 20, when He gives Moses the Ten Commandments: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11) So when we honor the Sabbath and keep it holy we honor Him, the Lord of the Sabbath. We’ll be talking a lot more about the Sabbath in our next program.
3) God is NOT “the light”:
This is a subtler one, so stay with me as we try to unveil the deceit in referring to God as “the light”. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
So Jesus says that He is the light of the world, and those who follow Him shall have the light of life. Let’s contrast this with another light, one that brings death and eternal damnation. In the Book of Isaiah chapter 14 the prophet says, referring to Lucifer: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! ….. thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.… thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord.”
Now, the reason I’m reading you this long passage in Isaiah 14 is because I wanted us understand the link between this misconception of referring to God as “the light” and Babylon. First of all, let’s repeat what we said earlier about God being a divine being and not something impersonal like energy – this also applies to light. Jesus was using a metaphor when He said that He is the light of this world – He did not mean to say that He is literally “light”. Let’s restate what we said earlier, which also applies here: God is not to be confused with His creation. In Genesis 1 verse 3 we read: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” So God is the Creator of light, He is NOT the light.
Now let’s ask ourselves who could be masquerading as the light in order to be worshipped. The answer is not difficult. Back to Isaiah 14, and in our very first show we had already talked about Lucifer’s misplaced expectations: “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.” So from the very start Lucifer has been seeking adoration, and through his workings the earliest pagan religions that developed in Egypt and Babylon have worshipped the sun as the source of light. I purposely will not mention the names of these gods, because we are here to exalt the God of Israel and not Satan. But be wary of any religion or religious group that seems to be focused on God as light. These are just the same Egyptian and Babylonian pseudo-gods or counterfeit gods being repackaged for the New Age.
As we said in our last program, these demons have been around since the creation of the earth with a consistent agenda of deceiving well-intentioned men who are sadly ignorant of the truth. These demons have simply gotten a New Age face lift to stay relevant: because our civilization is more sophisticated than ancient Egypt and Babylon they market themselves not as “the sun god” but as the “light god”. But they remain one and the same. Having been deceived by a New Age religion whose god is “the light” I take great pleasure in unmasking this particular deception.
4) gods with other names:
We also need to be very wary of any religion or group serving gods with other names. I won’t mention any of the names of the gods of some of the New Age religions and channels, because the Bible says in Exodus 23:13 “And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” The only real and living God is the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Elohim, Adonai, El Shaddai, El Elyon, Yahweh, Jehovah, Jeshua or Jesus. These are the names by which the living God is known, the names that we’ll be discussing shortly. Any other name not discussed here today is not referring to the same One and Only Almighty God, but refers to some counterfeit god.
In fact, this is very serious as these are the first and second commandments as given in Exodus 20: “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: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…”
Therefore be extremely cautious in this regard because Satan would deceive even the elect if that were possible. Today we have many well-meaning but ill-advised people bringing idols into their homes and bowing down to Eastern deities in particular as a result of the influx of Eastern ideologies namely through yoga, meditation and other spiritual practices. Satan and his fallen angels, who were created to worship the One True God, have perverted themselves and wish to be like the Most High, the only One worthy of worship.
To conclude on this point, all gods are not the same. Make sure that you know with great certainty which god you are serving and worshipping. I pray for you that it is the One and Only God of the Bible.
5) God is inside us:
Yet another widespread misconception about God that continues to gain ground is that “God is inside us”. Again, the deceit here is very subtle. Indeed, the Bible does say that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with us, to comfort and guide us and lead us into all truth. And the Bible does say that we are a temple of God’s Holy Spirit. Yet God is a divine being that exists outside of us and completely independently of us. If I die, God continues to exist because His existence does not depend on mine. This divine being has powers totally beyond my own. Let me share with you a personal story about this.
I was still living in France when my whole world crumbled around me. I had been deceived by a New Age religion that worshipped a counterfeit god, and got myself into a lot of trouble as a result. One Sunday I had just gotten back from a seminar taught by one of our spiritual leaders. I was totally decomposed, in terrible spiritual pain, not yet understanding the degree to which I’d been deceived but aching with disappointment about our spiritual leader who had caused great evil to fall upon me.
A dear friend of mine from the US happened to be in Paris for business, and called me to offer to come by for a visit. So Susan came over and immediately saw that I was not my usual self. I ended up telling her the whole nightmarish story, it felt so good to get all of that off my chest! And my dear friend Susan bless her heart did manage to make me feel better, except that every time I said “I need to pray to God” or “I need to ask God for help” she rebuked me by saying “God is inside of you, just go inside of you”. Susan has been practicing yoga for a few years now and this has become part of her credo. So although deep down inside I knew there was a living God somewhere that I needed to seek, my head was reeling and I didn’t know whether I was coming or going or what I should believe any more.
If you believe God is only inside of us, mercy! God Himself rebukes Job’s presumptuousness in chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Job, essentially asking him a series of questions to put him back in his place and show him Who is God. Listen to this, and the only one who can answer “yes” to each one of these questions is God Himself. He is the answer.
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all. Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof? Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great? Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?
Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven, When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together? Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions, When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.”
So God Himself rebukes our presumptuous belief that He is only inside of us and that we can contain His glory. We can’t even begin to fathom God’s glory, it is beyond human comprehension! In Exodus 33:20 God said “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”
So much for the theory that God is only inside of us… I think we’ve put that one to rest.
Having discarded all of those false teachings, what is left to believe in? Who is the real God? What is He like? How can we get to know Him better?
Who God IS
The first thing to be said about the one true God is that He is ONE. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 says “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” This is the foundation of all truth. The Lord our God is ONE.
Secondly, not all gods are the same – we need to know the name of the one true God we worship. Deuteronomy 4:35 says “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.” Furthermore Deuteonomy 32:39 says “See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with me.” So the God of Israel, THE God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, HE is the ONLY ONE GOD. All other gods than Him are counterfeit gods.
This is a time in history when many people are confused about who God is, especially as the One World Religion makes inroads into our different societies. And how many Christians have visited foreign countries where they have knelt before altars and bowed before statues dedicated to other gods? I was certainly guilty of that. So who are these other counterfeit gods? They have many different names and are all impostors, fallen angels who would like to be worshipped as gods, who want to be like The Most High, and who use deception to get the worship they seek.
The real God wants our love. He is a God who loves us and wants us to love Him. He is a gentleman and will never force Himself on us. He respects our free will and only comes into our lives if we ask Him to. Freedom is the basis of all true love. There is no coercion in God’s love.
The true God is merciful and faithful. Deuteronomy 7:9 says “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.”
Jeremiah 10:10 says “But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble , and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.” So we need to fear God and respect Him, and do not want to call His wrath upon us. Proverbs 19:23 tells us that “The fear of the Lord leads to life. And he who has it will abide in satisfaction. He will not be visited with evil.” There is also a beautiful promise associated with fearing God. The scripture says “The Angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7)
The Bible says that God is a loving Father who gives good things to His children, that He loves those who love Him, and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. God also says that He is Holy, and He wants us to be holy because He is holy (Leviticus 11:45). We need to make sure that we know which God we serve in order not to be deceived. And we must be careful not to make God into some impersonal entity that we pray to or reverence in an abstract way. God is a living being who has feelings. He created us in His image and likeness and His greatest longing is for us to be in deep relationship with Him.
There is a beautiful story in Exodus 33 and 34 that illustrates God’s relationship with Moses. Moses would spend hours talking with God, but God would be hidden in a cloud of smoke or pillar of fire. When Moses would come down from the mountain after speaking with God His face would be beaming with light from God’s glory, so much so that Moses needed to cover his face with a veil when he relayed God’s messages to the children of Israel. At one point Moses asks God to reveal His glory to him, and God – who had a tender heart for Moses – agreed to show Moses His hinder parts but not His face, and gave Moses rendez-vous for early the next morning on Mount Sinai. Let’s read from Exodus 34:
“And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Then God also tells Moses “thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”. He didn’t want the children of Israel to go worshipping the gods of the nations around them. God is faithful, and He wants and expects from us the same kind of faithfulness.
The Power of God’s Name
In today’s study we’re going to focus on the names and titles of God in the Old Testament. Jesus also has many titles in the New Testament, but we’ll reserve those for another study.
The name of God most used in the Old Testament is Yahweh or Jehovah which is a variation. For Christians it is accepted to pronounce the name. In Hebrew the name has not been pronounced for over two thousand years, since the 5th or 6th century Before Christ. The Jews will mention the four letters actually the four consonants in this name – this is why it’s called the Tetragrammaton. The four consonants are Yod He Vav He. (We’d already explained in a previous show that written Hebrew only has consonants and no vowels). Jews will typically replace the sacred Yod He Vav He by Adonai, which means Lord and Master. In conversation they will also refer to El Hashem which means “The Name”.
Yahweh is the name of God, as my name is Marla. In addition to His name, God also has a number of titles, which describe His attributes. In Hebrew given names usually carry a meaning, and convey the attributes of the thing or person being named. Let me give you several examples:
- Moses means “Being drawn out of the water” – we know how the Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby Moses floating down the Nile River.
- Joseph (Yosef) – Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel in the Bible who was sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt, yet became second in command to Pharaoh himself. The name means “God will add or increase.”
- Israel is the name given to Jacob after he wrestled with the Angel of the Lord and also the name of the State of Israel. In Hebrew, Israel means “to wrestle with God.”
- Jeremiah means “God will loosen the bonds” or “God will uplift.” Jeremiah was one of the Hebrew prophets in the Bible.
- Levi was Jacob and Leah’s son in the Bible. The name means “joined” or “attendant upon.” The tribe of Levi became the Levite priests that attended exclusively to God’s tabernacle.
The correspondence between the name and the person is so important in Hebrew that when someone’s name no longer reflected the plan God had for them, the Lord changed their names. Hence:
- Abram became Abraham. His original name meant Abram that means “exalted father”, literally “father of height”, whereas Abraham means “father of many nations”, literally “father of many multitudes” which better reflected the destiny that God had in store for him.
- His wife Sarai – whose name meant princess – was renamed Sarah, meaning “mother of many nations”
- Jacob or Yaakov, in the Hebrew means “at the heel” or “cunning”. Yaakov was born holding his brother’s heel and he stole his brother’s birthright and blessings. After Yaakov wrestled with the angel and won, God renamed him Israel, which means “divine master”.
When we understand the different names or titles or attributes of God we better understand who He is and His character. When we call upon these names in prayer and worship, we invoke those attributes of God. Psalm 22:3 says that God inhabits the praises of His people. This is extremely powerful, and this is why we want to learn His names and His attributes so that we can call upon them and worship every facet of who He is. Jesus Himself, when He gave His disciples the Lord’s Prayer, said “Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name”. So the name of God is very sacred and powerful.
Yahweh or Jehovah is a proper noun referring to the God of Israel. It is often translated “LORD”. Elohim was the generic term for god or gods that only later became a proper name. Yahweh is used whenever the Bible stresses God’s personal relationship with His people and the righteous nature of His character. Elohim refers to God’s power, His creating all things, and how He is the ruler of all life and all things.
- Yahweh (Jehovah, Covenant-keeping God)
- Elohim (God)
- Adonai (Lord, Master)
- El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
- El Elyon (The Most High God)
- El Olam (The Everlasting God)
- El Hashem (The Name)
- The I AM That I AM
- Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
- Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
- Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
- Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
- Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
- Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
- Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
- Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
- Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
- Jeshua HaMashiach
The Mystery of the Godhead
God has a triune nature. “For there are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and THESE THREE ARE ONE.” —1st John 5:7
Why do we speak about a mystery when we refer to the Godhead? “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)
In the Bible, mysteries are things that can be understood by a few, the true seekers, and cannot be understood by the casual observer. In Matthew 13, Jesus is preaching by the seaside the parable of the sower who sowed seeds, of which some prospered but most didn’t because they either fell on stony ground, or were devoured by fowls, or were scorched by the sun. And when He finished preaching this parable, He ended with: “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Matthew 13:9-13).
So Jesus explains how what is revealed to those who desire in their hearts to know the truth is hidden from others, “those whose ears are dull of hearing and whose eyes they have closed”. It is good therefore to seek to understand the mysteries of God, and they can be known by the true seekers. In Romans 1:19-20 the apostle Paul states that the mysteries of God’s eternal power and the Godhead can be known. So the Godhead – also known as the Trinity although that is a term that is never used in the Bible – is a mystery that God wants us to accept. James 2:19 says “You believe that there is one God. You do well.” To those who believe, no explanation is necessary; to those who believe not, no explanation is possible.
Let’s go back to Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” As we said earlier, this is the first truth about God. Yet, we see throughout the Bible Three distinct manifestations of this one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But it’s important to emphasize that the Three Persons are One God, otherwise we would agree with paganism that there are multiple gods. 2 Samuel 7:22 says “Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”
The Three Persons are present at two key moments in the Bible: the creation of the world and man and the baptism of Jesus Christ.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” God the Creator, the Father, was there, as well as His Spirit that moved upon the waters. Then in the 1st chapter of the Gospel of John, we find these well-known verses: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” We know therefore that Jesus was also present at the moment of creation, because Jesus is the Word.
Also in the beginning God speaks of His intention to create man, and speaks in the first person plural, as recorded in the Book of Genesis: “LET US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness… So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him.” Then when man fell into the snare set up by Satan, we read in Genesis 3:22, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…”
The Three Persons of the Godhead were also present during the Baptism of Christ. “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him [Jesus], and a voice came from heaven [God the Father], which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22)
It’s really interesting to study the progression of God’s incarnation as His relationship with His people deepened. Let’s go back to the Book of Genesis to take a closer look at how God interacted with His people back then.
In the garden of Eden God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. He had direct fellowship with them. After their fall, Adam and Eve are expelled from the garden and a swinging sword prevented entry back into the garden. Hence they find themselves separated from God, because sin cannot stand in the presence of God, and God cannot tolerate sin in His presence. The rest of the Bible is the story in the Old Testament of how God promises to restore the lost fellowship, and then the fulfillment of that promise through Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
But let’s stay in the Old Testament for a moment. The Angel of the Lord was the first manifestation of God interacting directly with His people here on earth. The Angel of the Lord appeared in a number of instances in the Old Testament, let me just cite a few:
- Genesis: Angel of the Lord sups with Abraham, investigates reports about Sodom and Gomorra
- Genesis 16:7–14. The angel of the Lord appears to Hagar in the desert, Abraham’s concubine who bore Ishmael
- Genesis 22:11–15. The angel of the Lord asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, then stops him from doing so
- Genesis: Angel of the Lord wrestles with Jacob
- Exodus 3:2–4. The angel of the Lord appears to Moses in the burning bush
- Numbers 22:22–38. The angel of the Lord meets the prophet Balaam on the road
- Judges 2:1–3. The angel of the Lord appears to Israel
- Judges 6:11–23. The angel of the Lord appears to Gideon, and Gideon fears for his life because he was in the presence of God.
- Judges 13:3–22. The angel of the Lord appears to Manoah and his wife, the parents of Samson
So God moved progressively from a completely spirit form to a more “physical” form or expression. But although God was able to visit with men in the form of the Angel of the Lord – for example when he supped with Abraham and wrestled with Jacob – the plan of salvation required for God to be incarnate, so that He could die for us. John 1:14 tells us that “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”. This incarnation also allowed Him to experience the full spectrum of human emotion and suffering in order to be tempted and overcome the temptation.
Now, let’s provide some biblical evidence that each of these Three Persons is actually God. There are many scriptures we could quote but in the interest of time I’ll only share a few.
First, let’s look at the Father: Isaiah 64:8 says “But now, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”? Jesus said in the Gospel of John 5:36, “But I have greater witness than that of John (the Baptist): for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.”
Now, what about Jesus? Is He also God? “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1st Timothy 3:16) We know it was Jesus who was manifest in the flesh, preached unto the Gentiles and received up into glory. In?Hebrews 1:8, we read “But unto the Son He [God] saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”
And is the Holy Ghost also God? The Holy Spirit is expressly called God. To Ananias Peter said, “Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” and then in the very next verse, he affirms “thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3, 4): if, then, lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God, it necessarily follows that the Spirit must be God. Again, the saints are called “the temple of God,” and the reason proving this is that, “the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (1 Cor. 3:16).
In like manner, the body of the individual saint is designated, “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” and then the exhortation is made, “therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19, 20). In 1 Corinthians 12, where the diversity of His gifts, administrations, and operations are mentioned, He is spoken of severally as “the same Spirit” (v. 4), “the same Lord” (v. 5), “the same God” (v. 6). In 2 Corinthians 6:16 the Holy Spirit is called “the living God.”
Is Jesus God?
All right, so we’ve established that each of the Three Persons of the Godhead is indeed God, and we’re starting to get a good sense of who this Almighty God is. Now however, I’d like to come back to the question of whether Jesus is God, and if it’s enough to believe in God without believing in Jesus in order to be saved. Many New Agers and people of different religions believe that Jesus did in fact exist, but believe that He was a prophet or a teacher and is now an “ascended master” somewhere in the ethers, but do not believe that He is God. Let’s set the record straight about this extremely critical point:
First of all, God is Jesus and Jesus is God: there is no real God without Jesus, and Jesus is THE Divine Being. The Bible says in Colossians 1:19 referring to Jesus “For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell” and later in Colossians 2:9: “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” We heard a moment ago the Father calling Jesus God and King, in Hebrews 1:8: “But unto the Son He [God] saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom.” And Jesus said “When you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.”
Secondly, the Bible is very pointed about the fact that Jesus is the door into heaven: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). Acts 4:12 tells us “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Let me repeat this, please take note of this! This is the great power that is in the Name of God: the power of salvation. Yeshua is the Hebrew form of Jesus and means “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh rescues”. So we confirm that the power that God put into His Name is the power of salvation.
Thirdly, let’s revisit one of the foundational biblical teachings we learned in our very first show. The reason why Jesus is the way into God’s kingdom goes back to the story of man’s fall in the Garden of Eden. The wages of sin is death, which is known as the Law of Sin and Death in Ezekiel 18:4: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Therefore since Adam and Eve sinned mankind lived with a death sentence hanging over its head until the Messiah – who had been abundantly prophesied in the Old Testament – came and died in our place. At that point we entered into another law, called the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:2 says “For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” This Christ Jesus as we call Him in our language is the same as Yeshua HaMashiach, the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, the word Christ comes from the Greek and means “The Anointed One”. This is why Romans 10:9 says “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
As Jesus Himself said in Revelation 1:18: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”