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Whom Do We Worship?

 

Over the years, weíve heard a lot of sermons about worship. Weíve been asked the question, "what is worship?" Weíve been given examples showing how we are to worship (in spirit and in truth); and weíve been told about the "when" and "why" we are to worship. Do we, though, have a proper understanding and appreciation for whom it is we really worship?

You might think to yourself, "what a dumb question, I worship God." Wait a minute, though. It might not be quite as dumb a question as you might think at first. We all have certain preconceived notions and visualizations of God in our mindís eye. What do you really know about the God whom you think you worship?

A lot more can be learned about who God really is by examining the attributes of God displayed for us in His names. There are many names of God but today weíll focus on ten of them. They each show us different aspects of Godís greatness. Letís examine them one by one, starting at the beginning of the book of Genesis. Today, we will be using the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern frequently because of its textual usage of several of the Hebrew names of God.

 

 

The Old Testament

 

Elohim

Genesis 1 and verse 1 is the beginning of the Bible and introduces our God as Creator.

(Gen 1:1 CJB) In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.

The first name of God we encounter is Elohim. It is the word most commonly translated God in the Hebrew Old Testament. According to Brown, Driver, and Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon, the meaning of the root stem is "to be strong." It is a plural word and, in Genesis 1:26, we can see the plural usage also displayed.

(Gen 1:26 CJB) Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth."

 

Eloah

The next name of God is related to Elohim. It is Eloah and itís the singular form of Elohim. In Deuteronomy 32:15, we can see its first occurrence, this time in the New American Standard Version.

(Deu 32:15-17 NASB) "But Jeshurun [thatís a term referring to Israel meaning the "upright one"] grew fat and kicked-- You are grown fat, thick, and sleek-- Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation. {16} "They made Him jealous with strange gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. {17} "They sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread.

Again, we see the connection with the root "to be strong" in the mention of the "Rock of his salvation."

 

El

The next name of God is El. El is, simply, God. The noted biblical scholar E. W. Bullinger in his Companion Bible states that "El is God the Omnipotent" and that "El is the God who knows allÖ and sees allÖ and that performeth all things for his peopleÖ and in Whom all the Divine attributes are concentrated. (Appendix 4, IV)."

The name El is often used in scripture connected with another word that gives more description to Godís name. In fact, in Genesis 14: 18. the first occurrence of the name El is in connection with the adjective Elyon which means "uppermost or Most High." Keep in mind that there is only one El Elyon who is "the Most High" because if there were another "Most High," the first would not be the MOST High. You canít have two Most Highís.

Genesis 14:18 is the account of Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek after Abrahamís victory over the kings.

(Gen 14:18-22 CJB) Malki-Tzedek king of Shalem brought out bread and wine. He was cohen of El 'Elyon [God Most High], {19} so he blessed him with these words: "Blessed by Avram by El 'Elyon, maker of heaven of earth; {20} and blessed be El 'Elyon, who handed your enemies over to you." Avram gave him a tenth of everything. {21} The king of S'dom said to Avram, "Give me the people, and keep the goods for yourself." {22} But Avram answered the king of S'dom, "I have raised my hand in an oath to Adonai, El 'Elyon, maker of heaven and earth,

David also knew God by the name El Elyon as we can read in Psalms 78: 34.

(Ps 78:34-35 CJB) When he brought death among them, they would seek him; they would repent and seek God eagerly, {35} remembering that God was their Rock, El 'Elyon their Redeemer.

A few verses later in Psalms 78: 56, David again showed us that the testimonies that the Israelites were to keep actually belonged to God Most High.

(Psa 78:56 CJB) Yet they tested El 'Elyon and rebelled against him, refusing to obey his instructions.

Even though the book of Daniel was written in Aramaic, the Most High God or the Supreme God is the same terminology used. In Daniel 3:26, the great King Nebuchadnezzar testified that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were servants or slaves of the Most High God.

(Dan 3:26 CJB) N'vukhadnetzar approached the opening of the blazing hot furnace and said, "Shadrakh! Meishakh! and 'Aved-N'go! You servants of El 'Elyon! Come out, and come here!" Shadrakh, Meishakh, and Aved-N'go emerged from the flames.

A few verses later in Daniel 4:2, the great King Nebuchadnezzar recounted his bannishment from the throne of Babylon during an episode in which he lived like an animal in the field eating grass like an oxen.

(Dan 4:2 CJB) I am pleased to recount the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me

Daniel used the same name of God in Daniel 5:18 when he witnessed before Nebuchadnezzarís son who had forgotten the lesson learned by his father.

(Dan 5:18-22 CJB) "Your majesty, the Most High God gave N'vukhadnetzar your father the kingdom, as well as greatness, glory and majesty. {19} Because of the greatness he gave him, all the peoples, nations and languages trembled with fear before him. Anyone he wanted to, he put to death; anyone he wanted to, he kept alive; anyone he wanted to, he advanced; and anyone he wanted to, he humbled. {20} But when he grew proud and his spirit became hard, he began treating people arrogantly; so he was deposed from his royal throne; and his glory was taken away from him. {21} He was driven from human society, his heart was made like that of an animal, he lived with the wild donkeys, he was fed with grass like an ox, and his body was drenched with dew from the sky; until he learned that the Most High God rules in the human kingdom and sets up over it whomever he pleases.

The name of God Most High was not just used in the Old Testament. In Luke 8:27, we see that it was the term actually used by the demon inside of a crazed man who spoke of Christís real identity as the Son of the Most High God.

(Luke 8:27-28 CJB) As Yeshua stepped ashore, a man from the town who had demons came to meet him. For a long time he had not worn clothes; and he lived, not in a house, but in the burial caves. {28} Catching sight of Yeshua, he screamed, fell down in front of him and yelled, "Yeshua! Son of God Ha'Elyon! What do you want with me? I beg you, don't torture me!"

Even after Christís death and resurrection as the apostles followed Jesusí command to take the gospel into all the world, we see the term used again. In Acts 16:16 when the Apostle Paul and others in his group were preaching the gospel in Philippi in Macedonia in modern day Greece, a deamon inside of a slave girl testified loudly for all to hear that the men were servants or slaves of the Most High God.

(Acts 16:16-17 NKJV) Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. {17} This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation."

So, whether it was Abraham in Genesis or David in the Psalms or Daniel or Jesus Christ or the Apostle Paul, they all acknowledged God Most High and were acknowledged as servants of God Most High. That is, God the Father, El Elyon.

We see another occurrence of El in Genesis 16:13. It is the account of Hagar running away from the mistreatment of her mistress, Sarah (or Sarai, at that time). We can pick up the story in Genesis 16:7.

(Gen 16:7-13 NKJV) Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. {8} And He said, "Hagar, Sarai's maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai." {9} The Angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand." {10} Then the Angel of the LORD said to her, "I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude." {11} And the Angel of the LORD said to her: "Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction. {12} He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren." {13} Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees [thatís El Roíi]; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?"

Now donít be confused by Hagarís statement. This passage clearly states several times that it was the angel of the LORD who appeared to Hagar. We can tell by her statement that she might have thought she saw God. She didnít, but the name El Roíi, the God Who Sees is still appropriate.

Another instance of El being used in connection with another descriptive word is found in Genesis 21:33. It is the account of Abraham taking an oath with Abimelech after Abraham had dug a well.

(Gen 21:33 NKJV) Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God [thatís El Olam].

Itís an interesting sidelight to note that one of the many odd characteristics of the Hebrew language is that many words donít have just one, singular equivalent meaning in English. The word Olam is one of those. It means the universe, the world, or eternity. Now thatís a lot of meaning packed into just one word. In fact, the same verse in the NIV is rendered that way.

 

(Gen 21:33 NIV) Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.

 

Shaddai

The next name we encounter is often used in connection with El. That is the word Shaddai. According to Strongís Hebrew Dictionary, its root is from shadad, to be buly or powerful. It is generally translated Almighty and it is frequently used in connection with El to create El Shaddai, God Almighty.

The first occurrence of El Shaddai we find is in Genesis 17: 1. It is where God instituted the sign of his covenant with Abram, that is, the sign of circumcision.

(Gen 17:1 NKJV) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God [thatís El Shaddai]; walk before Me and be blameless.

Whether used along with El or just by itself, Shaddai always refers to God, as we can see in Numbers 24: 15.

(Num 24:15-16 CJB) So he made his pronouncement: "This is the speech of Bil'am, son of B'or; the speech of the man whose eyes have been opened; the speech of him who hears God's words; who knows what 'Elyon knows, who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes:"

Bullinger again states that "Shaddai is the All-bountiful. This title does not refer to His creative power, but to His power to supply all the needs of His people. Its first occurrence is in Genesis 17:1, and is used to show Abraham that He Who called him out to walk alone before Him could supply all his need. Even so it is the title used in 2 Corinthians 6:18, where we are called to "come out" in separation from the world (Companion Bible, Appendix 4, VII)."

 

 

Adonai

Next we come to Adon and Adonai. In Strongís Hebrew Dictionary, Adon is defined as a sovereign, that is, a controller (human or divine). It is from a root, meaning "to rule." Adonai is defined as an emphatic form of Adon and is translated the Lord. It is used as a proper name of God only.

The first occurrence of Adon is in Genesis 18: 2 where Abraham is visited by the three men before the destruction of Sodom and Gommorrah.

(Gen 18:2-3 NKJV) So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, {3} and said, "My Lord [thatís Adon], if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.

In Genesis 18: 12, we can see the meaning describing the master-servant relationship in the word Adon. It is where Sarah refers to Abraham as her "lord."

(Gen 18:12 NKJV) Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord [thatís Adon] being old also?"

Adonai, the more emphatic form of Adon, is used more than 300 times throughout the Old Testament. We see it used first in Genesis 15:18 where God established his covenant with Abraham and is translated into the English word LORD.

(Gen 15:18 CJB) That day Adonai made a covenant with Avram: "I have given this land to your descendants - from the Vadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River"

In Exodus 4:10 at the incident of the burning bush, Moses conversed with the angel (or messenger) of the Lord. Moses received his commission from God to go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. In trying to get out of doing the job, Moses responded to God in the following manner.

(Exo 4:10 CJB) Moshe said to Adonai, "Oh, Adonai, I'm a terrible speaker. I always have been, and I'm no better now, even after you've spoken to your servant! My words come slowly, my tongue moves slowly."

 

Qadosh

The next name of God we encounter is Qadosh. It means "the holy one." The root is from qadash, which means "to be separate." We see it used in Leviticus 19: 2 where it refers to the standard of holiness or "separateness" established and maintained by God.

(Lev 19:2 NKJV) "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy [thatís Qadosh], for I the LORD your God am holy.

Thatís important. Look at it again. It is the sparate standard of holiness established and maintained by God the Father and it is the standard of behavior he expects of us, "You shall be holy for I the LORD your God am holy."

We see Qadosh as a name of God used most often in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 1:4 is Isaiahís first use of Qadosh as a name of God. .

(Isa 1:4 NKJV) Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel [thatís Qadosh Yisrael].

 

Yahweh

The final Hebrew name of God that we find in the Old Testament is the most important and the most distinctive. It is Yahweh. Technically, it is YHWH or better known as the tetragramaton, which is a Greek term meaning "four letters." It means "the self-existant one" and its root is in the Hebrew simple future tense, "he will be."

We see a good example of this in Exodus 3:13 where Moses asks God what his name is.

(Exo 3:13-15 CJB) Moshe said to God, "Look, when I appear before the people of Isra'el and say to them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you'; and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what am I to tell them?" {14} God said to Moshe, "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be]," and added, "Here is what to say to the people of Isra'el: 'Ehyeh [I Am or I Will Be] has sent me to you.'" {15} God said further to Moshe, "Say this to the people of Isra'el: 'Yud-Heh-Vav-HehÖ the God of your fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz'chak and the God of Ya'akov, has sent me to you.' This is my name forever; this is how I am to be remembered generation after generation."

As we just read, literally in Hebrew, it is Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, "I will become who I will become." According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, it is "I will be that I will be" and "I will be has sent me." Verse 15 stated that YHWH is God's name forever and in this name, God is to be remembered from generation to generation. In the meaning of this name, we can see the implication that God transcends all time.

In Exodus 6:2, God gives Moses a brief history of a few of his names, combined in one verse.

(Exo 6:2-3 NKJV) And God [thatís Elohim] spoke to Moses and said to him: "I am the LORD [thatís Yahweh]. {3} "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty [thatís El Sharddai], but by My name LORD [thatís Yahweh] I was not known to them.

Yahweh is often used in combination with other words to describe different attributes of God.

Here is a brief summary of some of the compound names of God used in connection with Yahweh. Here are ten of them.

 

Yahweh-Jireh is Yahweh will see or provide. It is used in Genesis 22: 14.

Yahweh-Ropheka is Yahweh that heals you. It is used in Exodus 15:26.

Yahweh-Nissi is Yahweh my banner. It is used in Exodus 17: 15.

Yahweh-Mekaddishkem is Yahweh that does sanctify you. It is used in Exodus 31: 13 and Leviticus 20:8.

Yahweh-Shalom is Yahweh of Peace. It is used in Judges 6: 24.

Yahweh-Sabaoth is Yahweh of Hosts. That really means Yahweh of Armies. It is used in 1 Samuel 1: 3.

Yaweh-Zidkunu is Yahweh our righteousness. It is used in Jeremiah 23:6 and 33: 16.

Yahweh-Shammah is Yahweh is there. It is used in Ezekiel 48: 35.

Yahweh-Raía is Yahweh my Shepherd. It is used in Psalms 23 :1.

Yahweh-Elyon is Yahweh most High. It is used in Pslalms 7: 17 and 47: 2.

 

 

 

The New Testament

 

Theos

There are only two direct words referring to God in the New Testament. Most often used is the Greek word, Theos which is simply, God. It is used both in reference to the Father and to Christ as the Son of God.

 

Kurios

The other Greek word translated God or Lord is Kurios. The New American Standard Greek Dictionary renders kurios as lord or master, coming from the root kuros, which is "authority."

We see a good example of both words used in one verse in Matthew 4: 7 where Christ is battling the temptations of Satan.

(Matt 4: 7 NASB) Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, ĎYOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD [thatís Kurios, master] YOUR GOD [thatís Theos] TO THE TEST.í"

 

Weíve now seen several of the most important names of God. They have to do with Strength, Power, Might, Holiness and Self-Existence. Weíve seen in the New Testament that there are two words for God, the one translated God and the other translated Lord or Master. What else can we discover about who God really is? Who is it that we are to worship and serve?

We can start by finding out what Jesus Christ says. Luke 4:6 is the account of Satan tempting Christ to worship the devil.

(Luke 4:6 NKJV) And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.

You know, thatís quite a revealing admission by Satan. "All this domainÖ has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish." Satan said it was Satanís to give to whomever he wishedÖ and he didnít get any argument from Christ that it didnít, presently, belong to Satan.

Continue in verse seven.

(Luke 4:7-8 NKJV) "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." {8} And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"

So, we can see that Christ, in speaking from his own mouth, says that we are to worship and serve the Lord your God. How can we know who that "Lord your God" is? In Matthew 11: 27, Christ shows us who it is.

(Mat 11:27 NKJV) "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

So, we can see that it is Christís will and purpose to reveal to us the Father but why canít we find out who the Father is by ourselves and on our own? The Apostle John addresses that question in John 1:18.

(John 1:18 NASB) No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

So, it is only through Christís explanation that we are able to learn about the Father but did Jesus concur with Johnís assessment? In John 5: 37, we will find that he did.

(John 5:37 NKJV) "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

Look further on the next page in John 6:46 to see Christís additional statement.

(John 6:46 NKJV) "Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

In Colossians 1: 15, weíll see that Paul agrees with Jesus.

(Col 1:15 NKJV) He [speaking of Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

In 1 Timothy 1: 17, we can also see Paulís expression of the Father.

(1 Tim 1:17 NASB) Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

A little later in 1 Timothy 6:13- 16, we see an even greater description by Paul of more of the attributes of the Father. The subject of this passage is God the Father. In fact, in the first sentence, we have the two separate personages identified, God the Father and Jesus Christ.

(1 Tim 6:13-16 NKJV) I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, {14} that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, {15} which He will manifest in His own time [and we well know from Matthew 24 that Christ says he doesnít even know the day or hour of his return Ė only the Father knows].

So, continue in verse 15 with the "He" who is the Father.

(1 Tim 6:15 NKJV) He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, {16} who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

If God is invisible, are we at a loss to know what he looks like and how he behaves? Fortunately, we have been given glimpses of the Great God through visions of the prophets and apostles. In Daniel 7:1, we can see Danielís vision of the throne of the Father in heaven.

(Dan 7:1 NKJV) In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.

So, you can see, in plain language, that Daniel was not physically taken anywhere. He certainly did not go up to heaven because it says that Daniel saw a dream and that the visions he saw were in his mind. He experienced all of this while he lay on his bed. Even though he was in Babylon, his bed was definitely not a flying carpet. He just didnít go anywhere.

After Danielís descriptions of the beasts he saw [which represented each of the coming world empires], continue in verse nine.

(Dan 7:9-10 NKJV) "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; {10} A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.

What an awesome sight! Such power and majesty!

(Dan 7:13-14 NKJV) "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. {14} Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom [notice that it is the Father who possesses the kingdom and has the power and authority to give Christ the kingdom], That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

What does the Ancient of Days [God the Father] do? Skip down to verse 22.

(Dan 7:22 NKJV) "until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made [so we see that judgment emanates from the Father] in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.

In verse 27, we hear the conclusion of the matter.

(Dan 7:27 NKJV) Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'

In Revelation 1: 1, we can also gain a vision of God the Father.

(Rev 1:1 NKJV) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God [thatís the Father] gave Him [thatís Christ] to show His servants; things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John

We see that even though it is called the revelation of Jesus Christ, it was a revelation given to Christ from God the Father. So, the Father is the source of the revelation. It was given to Christ to then show to Christís servants, the slaves.

Farther down in verse nine, we see how that revelation was communicated to John.

(Rev 1:9-10 NKJV) I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. {10} I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet

So, we see, as with Daniel, that John was in one place and saw the events of this revelation in the Spirit, that is, by a vision. He didnít leave the island of Patmos because he was imprisoned there. The fourth chapter of Revelation gives us even more of a description of the throne of God Most High.

(Rev 4:1-5 NKJV) After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." {2} Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. {3} And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. {4} Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. {5} And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Wow, thatís the throne of Awesome Power!

Continue in verse five.

(Rev 4:5-8 NKJV) And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. {6} Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. {7} The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. {8} The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"

That sound like the name God told Moses to use, "I will become what I will become."

(Rev 4:9-10 NKJV) Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, {10} the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne

Look at that! The living creatures and the twenty-four elders before the throne of God are not worshipping the lamb. They worship Him who sits on the throne and lives forever and ever. Now, what do the twenty-four elders do?

(Rev 4:10-11 NKJV) the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: {11} "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."

Again, we see that it is God the Father who created all things and because of the Fatherís will they existed and were created.

Who are we to worship, though? In Revelation 19:4, we can see who John was commanded to worship.

(Rev 19:4-5 NKJV) And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, "Amen! Alleluia!" {5} Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great [thatís us]"

Now, skip down to verse 10. John was facing an angel as all this was unfolding before him.

(Rev 19:10 NKJV) And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

 

All Power in the Father's hands

What is the sum of the matter? What is Christís part? In John 5: 19, Jesus tells us his part.

(John 5:19-20 NKJV) Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. {20} "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

In 1 Corinthians 15, the resurrection chapter, Paul summarizes the plan of God and the authority of the Father.

(1 Cor 15:13-28 NKJV) But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. {14} And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. {15} Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up; if in fact the dead do not rise. {16} For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. {17} And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! {18} Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. {19} If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. {20} But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. {21} For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. {22} For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. {23} But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. {24} Then comes the end, when He [thatís Christ] delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. {25} For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. {26} The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. {27} For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. {28} Now when all things are made subject to Him [thatís Christ], then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him [thatís the Father] who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Weíve heard a lot today about who God is. By seeing for ourselves who God really is, we can also see who he is not. Much is revealed in the meanings of Godís names and much is revealed in the visions written in scripture. God the Father is strong. He is the Most High God. He is the Almighty and full of power. He is the Sovereign or Potentate. He is the Holy One who is to be separate. He is the Self-Existent One, the "I Will Be" who transcends all time. He is the One who dwells in unapproachable light.

 

We areÖ the Church of El Elyon, God Most High.

He isÖ Our Awesome Father and the one to whom we owe our devotion and worship!

 

 

Sermon by Philip Edwards

January 29, 2005

 

 

Studies in the Word of God
 

Church of God Most High
P.O. Box 89741 
Tucson, AZ 85752-9741
USA

 

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