Introduction to God’s Names

Have you ever considered that there are many names and titles used of God in the Bible? Some of the Hebrew names used of God are: Elohim, Yahweh, Adonai, Yah, El, Eloah, Elyon, Shaddai. Some of these are used in combination with other words to form divine titles, such as Yahweh-Jireh (The Eternal Will See or Provide), Yahweh-Ropheka (The Eternal Who Heals You), Yahweh-Nissi (The Eternal My Banner), Yahweh-Mekaddishkem (The Eternal Who Sanctifies You), Yahweh-Amah (The Eternal Our Maker), Immanuel (God Is with Us), these being only a few.

Other titles and descriptive names are used of God as well, such as Melchizedek (King of Righteousness), and in English such titles as the Portion of Jacob, the Rock of Our Salvation, the Prince or King of Peace, Wonderful, Holy One of Israel, Counselor, Redeemer, Shepherd of Israel, Everlasting Father, Savior, Refuge, Strength, Fortress, Deliverer, Creator. All these and more are from the Old Testament. The New Testament adds more, such as Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Lord God Omnipotent, Apostle, High Priest, the Light of the World, the Father of Lights, the Bread of Life.

Why so many names for God? The reason is that God in his word names things what they are. God is a great being, greater than our minds can fully comprehend. He fills many roles, many offices, has many responsibilities. There are a multitude of facets to his character and nature. The various names and titles highlight different aspects of who God is and what he is like.

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The Foundation on Which the True Church of God is Built

Jesus said to Peter: “And I also say to you that you are Peter [petros], and on this rock [petra] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

This verse does not imply what some have assumed, that human authority, beginning with Peter, is at the foundation of the Church.

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Why Does God Hate Sin?

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is one of the festivals of God, that he commanded to be kept by his chosen people, which includes not only ancient Israel, but the Church of God established under the New Covenant (Exodus 12:15-16; Leviticus 23:6-8; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; see also chapters 9 and 10 of our book, When is the Biblical Passover?). One of the key lessons intended to be taught by keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread is that we are to put sin out. But what is it about sin that we should put it out? Is it that God wants to keep us from having fun? Does God hate to see people enjoy life? Or does God have our best interests in mind when he commands us not to sin?

Let’s discuss why God hates sin, and why we also should hate sin, and want to put it out of our lives.

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2024 Festival Observance Planned

The Messenger Church of God keeps the festivals God commands his people to keep. The commanded festivals and annual Sabbaths are listed in Leviticus 23. They include, in addition to the weekly Sabbath, the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day, associated with the Feast of Tabernacles, but technically a separate feast. The 2024 festival observance planned by the Church for the commanded annual festivals is summarized below.

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Don’t Harden Your Heart

Jesus in Luke 4:4 said that man is to live “by every word of God.” He taught that the wise will build his life on the foundation of obedience to the word of God (Matthew 7:24-25).

God’s word judges us. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). “Discerner” is from the Greek κριτικός, an adjective that means able to judge or discern (Greek-English Lexicon, Bauer, Arndt and Gringrich). The English word “critic” is derived from the Greek word used here. Kριτικός is a cognate of κριτής (kritēs), a judge, and κρίνω (krinō), a verb meaning to judge or distinguish or decide. God’s word judges us, and in a sense is our critic. It penetrates beyond the surface to our innermost being. In the final analysis, everyone will be judged by God’s word (John 12:48).

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