May 1, 2011 Overview of the Names of God

Overview of the Names of God

It seems quite natural that God would reveal Himself to us, since He wants us to ‘know and understand’ Him (Jeremiah 9.23-24).  Abraham and his early blood-relative descendants learned about God through His walk with them, as God said to Moses in Exodus 6.2-3a.  While we will find this revelation of El Shaddai/God Almighty repeated throughout Scripture, God begins in Exodus 6.3b to reveal Himself as the overcoming Lord, whose name, Jesus (John 17.11-12), means the same thing, which Apostle Paul acknowledges in Philippians 2.9-11 and Apostle John acknowledges in Revelation 19.11-16.

God first defined Himself to Moses in Exodus 3.14: ‘I AM WHO I AM.’

  • In the Hebrew, this is four alphabet consonants that transliterate as YHWH.
  • This is a tetragrammaton defined as ‘known directly, without apparent thought or effort’.
  • God told Moses that the Hebrews in Egypt would instantly know Who Moses was speaking for and about when He mentioned YHWH.
  • Has God engrained His name within mankind or did He just do this for the Hebrews in this occasion?  Do Romans 1.19-20 and Jeremiah 31.33-34 help?
  • Another way of writing YHWH is JHVH, which we pronounce Jehovah.
  • Middle-Ages Jewish commentator, Moses Maimonides, stated that, “All the names of God which occur in Scripture are derived from His works except one, and that is Jehovah, and this is called the plain name, because it teaches plainly and unequivocally of the substance of God. In the name Jehovah the personality of the Supreme is distinctly expressed. It is everywhere a proper name denoting the person of God and Him only.” (The Exhaustive Dictionary of bible Names, page 84)

All other names of God are derived from His works.  For example: Jehovah-

Which ‘work’ of God have you experienced?  Which do you need to learn?

Copyright by Maurice L. Painter; all rights reserved.

April 17, 2011 God’s Zeal at Easter

God’s Zeal at Easter

Christianity sits upon three foundations: the virgin birth of Jesus, His atoning death, and His bodily resurrection from the grave.  We celebrate the last two at Easter.  Jesus died on Good Friday and arose on Easter Sunday morning.  What a triumph for mankind!  Apostle Paul reminds us of this in 2 Corinthians 2.14; note his inclusive term ‘always’, which can be translated ‘in every circumstance for all time.’

These three foundations illustrate God’s zeal for you, as we began discussing last week.  Consider this at a deeper level by studying this question: how is Easter like the plagues of Egypt? Follow as I lead your thinking toward the answer.

You remember the plagues of Egypt from Exodus 7 – 12.

  • The first nine plagues were to persuade Pharaoh to release the Hebrew people he was oppressing: water for drinking and irrigation becoming blood, frogs and lice and flies pestering people, disease destroying livestock, boils irritating people, hail and locusts destroying crops, and ‘thick’ darkness keeping people at home.
  • But, the Hebrews living in Goshen district did not experience these, for God made a distinction between the Hebrews and Egyptians; Exodus 8.23.
  • Then, God shed the first blood of salvation for man; lambs blood on the doorposts of Hebrew houses to deter the angel of death; Exodus 12.7, 13.
  • Note, in Exodus 12.12 (and Numbers 33.4), what was really happening when God slew the firstborn Egyptian animals and children.  God was executing judgment ‘against all the gods of Egypt’!  Idols of stone, metal, wood, or symbols in the sky could not withstand God’s fury to save His people!
  • (Likewise, 1 Samuel 5.3-4 tells what happened to the Philistines’ idol when confronted by Jehovah.  Note what happened to the land and people because of God’s judgment of Dagon, god of the Philistines; chapters 5 and 6.)

So, how is Easter like these plagues?

  • Luke 13.33 states Jesus’ determination to travel to Jerusalem for the Passover.  Luke 18.31-33 tells you why.  How is Jesus’ blood better than that of the sacrificial lamb in Egypt?  See Hebrews 10.4, 10, 12.  Where is the door for showing the blood?  See Revelation 3.20. Is His blood on your door?
  • John 12.27-32 tells you what was happening in the spirit world through the crucifixion events.
  • Now the world is judged!  Now the ruler of the world will be cast out!’ (John 12.31; my paraphrase and emphases).  2 Corinthians 4.4 identifies the ‘ruler of the world’; John 15.18-19 explains his relation to believers; and John 16.33 reminds you to resist him.
  • When Jesus cried, ‘it is finished’ (John 19.30), ‘now’ was complete!  The fate of the ruler of this world was sealed; see Isaiah 14.12-15, Revelation 20.1-2, 7-10.  The people of the world, thereafter, would have a choice to make; see John 3.18, 14.6.
  • God, once again and finally, judged the ruler of this world and his gods which deceive mankind.  Read what the writer says in the last half of 1 John 3.8.  So, you can join in the celebration of Isaiah 21.9 and Romans 16.20!

God foretold these events to Moses.

  • Before He send him to Pharaoh, God reminded Moses that He had identified Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, Almighty God Who gave them whatever they needed to fulfill His plan.  Now, He says in Exodus 6.3, He would also become known as Lord and remove all obstacles from our way.
  • God finished this through Jesus’ atoning death and bodily resurrection at Easter (the first day of the week after Jesus became the Passover lamb of God).
  • Only Jesus claimed to be God’s Son.  Only Jesus died to atone for the sins of His followers.  Only Jesus’ bones are missing from His grave!  All others who claim deity are imposters!  There is no salvation from following them!
  • Jesus is the risen Lord! See Revelation 19.16.

Praise God!!!

This is a copyrighted work of Maurice L. Painter; all rights reserved.  You will find this and other lessons by me at www.sozoclass.com.

April 10, 2011 God’s Zeal for You

God’s Zeal for You

I love the stories of God riding in to rescue His children from their enemies.  One such story is that of the King of Assyria threatening Israel and King Hezekiah.  God’s words in Isaiah 37.32-35 state His promised salvation, however He might choose to accomplish this.  The second half of verse 32 is my emphasis today: ‘The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.’ I encourage you to read the entire chapter.

What has God done to evidence His zeal for you?  Some that come to my mind include the following.  What others would you add?  What was satan trying to ‘steal, kill, or destroy’ (John 10.10) that God saved?

Jesus became sin for you; 1 Peter 2.24;

Jesus took sickness and disease upon Himself for you; Isaiah 53.4;

Jesus abundantly supplies your needs; Philippians 4.19;

Jesus overcame death for you; Hebrews 2.14-15;

Jesus gives us His wise leadership; Ephesians 1.22; Romans 8.14;

Jesus fulfills your ministry to others; Mark 16.15-20; and

Jesus gives you His authority over satan; Luke 10.19.

Easter celebrates the completion of God’s victory over satan.  We must enforce this daily, with His zeal supporting us.

When Jesus said, ‘it is finished’, He meant that the salvation of man temporally and eternally had been accomplished; John 19.30.

His lifestyle illustrated His zeal for saving mankind from the effects of their sin; Matthew 4.23-25.

He confronted the leaders of religious philosophy to reestablish God’s truth; Matthew 5-7 (His Sermon on the Mount) and John 8.30-59.

Jesus let nothing deter Him from being in Jerusalem to be the Passover Lamb of God; Luke 13.22-33 and 18.31-34.

Note, too, in these previous verses, that Jesus was zealous for resurrecting from the dead on the third day, which was the first day of the week, when Christians traditionally worship Him.

Jesus zealously wants you at home with Him eternally; John 14.1-4 and 17.24.

What more could He do for you?  His zeal has overcome for you!  Enjoy your salvation.

Praise God!!!

April 3, 2011 How I Came to Believe in Healing

How I Came to Believe in Healing

I think it might help you to understand my teachings better if I told how I came to believe the Scriptures about healing.  You don’t have to follow my path; God may lead you differently.  In the Winter of 1980, God instructed me to fast solid foods.  I could drink milk, juices, and water.  I had scheduled a business meeting three days hence with a fellow from Missouri, followed by lunch.  The Lord reprimanded me for breaking the fast after three days and instructed me to begin again.  Forty days later, He ended my fast.

During those days, He gave me two instructions: do not jog and read the Bible instead of eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  This developed my hunger for the Word of God that continues to drive my search to know Him better (Jeremiah 9.23-24).  At the same time, I felt compelled to listen to some radio Bible teachers who taught about developing a deeper faith in the grace of God for overcoming all of satan’s attempts to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10.10).

In about the middle of my forty-day fast, I was up one morning before dawn for prayer, which had become my custom.  My throat was sore, and God challenged me with the question: ‘What are you going to do about that?’  Coincidently, one of the radio teachers had been talking about the grace of God for healing; i.e. God’s word about healing and His willingness to use His great power to bring it to my reality.  He had taught about taking authority over the demon causing the ailment, from Luke 10.19.  So, in Jesus’ name, I commanded the demon sore throat to leave because of John 16.24.  It felt like the talons of a bird released my throat, and there was no more pain!

This was contrary to my upbringing, for my preacher-father did not believe in such healing.  In fact, he answered my adolescent questions about Oral Roberts’ healing television show, on before Sunday’s meal after church, by saying it was fake or not lasting.  But, my recent readings of the Gospel writers’ stories of Jesus’ life and work had been punctuated by God’s focusing my attention on the instances of healing.  There are over 25 different recounts by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and/or John.

Thus began my search for personal answers to the following questions that you have or should ask:

  • What is included in salvation?
  • When did we get this salvation?
  • Why is it difficult to receive healing as part of salvation?
  • Is healing for everyone?
  • Why would God leave anyone out? Or, do we opt out?
  • How big is God?

Isaiah 53.4 is true – believe it or not.  From my personal experience with Him, I believe it is true!

Praise God!!!