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The Name of God

A name is a word or phrase given to a person, etc, to be called and known-by, in order to designate and describe the distinguishing and distinctive constitution, character, quality, workings, etc. 

The first name that God attributes to Himself is the Hebrew word Elohim - a plural noun emphasizing God the Creator (Genesis 1:1).

The name of Jehovah (Yahweh) is the name God gives to Himself when emphasizing His interaction and covenant relationship with that-which He has created (translated as "Lord" in the King James Version). Jehovah is the name by-which God made Himself known to Moses and to the children of Israel (refer to Exodus 6:2-4). In the old covenant Hebrew writings the name of Jehovah was sometimes combined with other words to give Him a title to emphasize a specific quality.

In the Greek writings of the 4 gospels (Matthew - John) and Acts - Revelation, the name of God (Greek noun Theos) refers to the fullness of everything involved with God Himself, all that He is and will continue to be, all of His authoritative-power, ability, workings, etc, His distinguishing and distinctive constitution, character, and quality.

God is the First, Superior or Ultimate One, the One Who has power, executes judgment, and emanates what He is, His power and light. He is the only true God and the Father of His son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is also referred to by the name of Lord (Greek noun Kurios) and it emphasizes and confirms the validity and authenticity of God’s lordship, dominion and authority over and relative-to His creations, plus the respectful submission due to Him. This word is used in Greek as a translation for the Hebrew word Jehovah (Yahweh) and refers to God in His covenant-relationship to that-which He created. References: Acts 4:26; James 3:9.

Additionally, God is referred to by the name of Master (Greek noun Despotes) and means: the Sovereign Lord, the Absolute-Master, the Despot, the One Who has absolute dominion, supreme authority, and unlimited power. This word emphasizes subjection whereby God the Master is over His own slaves and they figuratively have their feet bound in complete subjection to Him in service during everyday living. References: Acts 4:24; II Timothy 2:21.

In II Corinthians 6:18 and Revelation 1:8, God is referred to by the name of the All-Strong-One (Greek noun Pantokrator) and means that God is the One being totally strong, having all strength, every superiority and dominion in exerted force, almighty in relation to whom He has created. This word emphasizes God's strength from/with which He gracefully supplies what is needed to/for His people, and to/for the rest of His host of beings. Other references are Romans 9:29 and James 5:4 where God is referred to as the Lord of Hosts, which is from the same root word in Hebrew. 

Many times God is referred to as the living God (Greek verb zao) which emphasizes that He is presently and actively living - He is alive. This is in contrast to the deadness of idols and false-gods. References: Romans 9:26; II Corinthians 3:3 and 6:16; I Thessalonians 1:9; I Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:12, 12:22.

God is also referred to as Holy Spirit to emphasize the truth that:

  • He is Spirit,
  • He is Holy,
  • His essence is holy spirit,
  • His realm of power, authority, and action is in the holy spirit category,
  • and He is the source of all that He gives and communicates in the holy spirit category.

God is Holy Spirit. References: Matthew 1:18 and 20, 12:32; John 4:24; Acts 1:16, 28:25; I Corinthians 2:11; Hebrews 3:7, 9:8, 10:15. Today, when anyone believes what God says regarding Himself and His son, the Lord Jesus Christ, they become saved to God by receiving God's gift of holy spirit by means of His son, the Lord Jesus Christ (refer to Romans 10:8-10). A person who believes receives only a token, an earnest, a deposit of holy spirit-life (refer to Ephesians 1:13 and 14).

The most important title that God gives to Himself in connection with holy-people (true Christians) today is: Father. The word "Father" emphasizes our sonship relationship with God because we have the spirit of Christ in us and God is the Father of His son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The significance of God being the Father in relation to holy-people is that we are in God’s family. In human terminology the word "father" refers literally to one who has begotten a child with/by his own seed/sperm, and so the son/daughter has originated from the father's seed, and this fact cannot be changed; also a father is strong and he protects, feeds, etc, his family. God has given all holy-people His gift of holy spirit so that we are now His sons by birth. God is the Father of all who have holy spirit-life within them. References: Acts 2:33; Romans 1:7, 8:15, and 15:6; Galatians 4:6.

Various references are:

  • Genesis 1:1 (God created the heavens and the earth);
  • Matthew 19:26 (God is able);
  • Mark 10:18 (God is good);
  • John 1:18 (God is not seen),
    • 4:24 (God is Spirit),
    • 5:26 (God has life in Himself),
    • 17:25 (God is righteous / just),
    • 20:17 (God is the God and Father of Jesus Christ);
  • Acts 4:24 (God made heaven, earth, sea, etc),
    • 7:2 (God of glory),
    • 15:17 (God's name is called on certain people),
    • 17:24-29 (God made the world; He is Lord of heaven and earth, etc; He gives life, etc);
  • Romans 1:20 (God's perpetual ability and Godly quality),
    • 9:15 (God has mercy and pity),
    • 11:33-36 (God has wealth, wisdom, knowledge, unsearchable judgments and un-trackable ways),
    • 15:6 (God is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ), 13 (God of hope) and 33 (God of peace),
    • 16:20 (God of peace);
  • I Corinthians 1:9 (God is believable / faithful),
    • 8:6 (one God);
  • II Corinthians 1:3 (God is blessed; He is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ; He is the Father of pities and God of all encouragement),
    • 9:8 (God is able),
    • 13:11 (God of love and peace);
  • Ephesians 1:3 (God is blessed; He is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ; He blessed holy-people / Christians),
    • 3:14 (Father of the Lord Jesus Christ)
    • 3:15 (all paternal-lineage in the heavens and on earth is named from God the Father)
    • 4:6 (one God and Father of all holy-people / Christians);
  • Philippians 4:9 (God of peace);
  • I Thessalonians 5:23 and 24 (God of peace; He is believable / faithful);
  • I Timothy 2:5 (one God),
    • 6:1 (the name of God);
  • Titus 1:2 (God does not lie; He promises),
  • Hebrews 3:7 (God is Holy Spirit),
    • 6:10 (God is not unrighteous),
    • 6:18 (it is not possible for God to lie),
    • 13:15 (holy-people are to express agreement regarding God's name)
    • 13:20 (God of peace);
  • James 1:17 (God is the Father of the lights; there is not in Him a change or a shadow of turning),
    • 2:7 (God’s name is called on all holy-people);
  • I Peter 1:3 (God is blessed; He is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ) and 15-17 (God is holy; He judges without respect of persons / receiving faces),
    • 5:10 (God of all grace; He called holy-people / Christians into His eternal glory in Christ);
  • I John 1:5 (God is Light) and 9 (God is believable and righteous / just),
    • 4:8 and 16 (God is love)
  • II John 1:3 (God is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ who is God's son).

Also, we should understand that there are places in God’s Word where a person or a spirit or a thing is spoken of as being a “god” – but these are NOT referring to the only true God Who is the Father of His son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The usages of the word “god” when referring to those other-than the only true God, indicate superiority in some respect, power to exercise judgment over others, the attitude that those in subjection have towards that one, etc. Refer to Genesis 3:5; Exodus 7:1 and 2; John 5:36 and 37, 10:25-38, 20:28; Acts 7:43; I Corinthians 8:4-6; II Corinthians 4:4a; Philippians 3:19; II Thessalonians 2:4.