Press of the BeComingOne Church

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[Taken from the God Papers  by Walter R. Dolen
 Copyright 1977-2003 by Walter R. Dolen and/or BeComingOne Church]

 

Importance of a Name

Personal Names had Meaning

gp97 Names of people in the Bible had more meaning to them than personal names have for us. To Israel personal names generally expressed some personal characteristic, some incident connected with birth, some hope, desire, or wish of the parents. The Biblical Hebrews had a tendency to play on names and find analogies or contrasts in them (see Ruth 1:20; 1Sam 25:3,25; Rom 9:6; etc.). For example the following play on the name "Dan."

  • "Dan ['judge'] shall judge his people" (Gen 49:16).

gp98 Personal names given at birth were sometimes changed later in life for various reasons. Sometimes the names given at birth expressed the time of birth, Hodesh (new moon). Sometimes the names indicated the place of birth, Zerubbabel (born in Babylon). Sometimes the condition of the mother called for a certain name for the child, Benoni (son of my pain). Sometimes the name of the child indicated the appearance of the child, Esau (hairy). Religious names were frequently given, the most simple being expressive of thanks to God for the gift of a child, Mahalaleel (praise to God).

gp99 Some names of people were changed by God to indicate what God was going to do with or through that person:

  • Abram's name ("exalted father") was changed to Abraham ("father of many") because God was going to make him a father of many nations (Gen 17:5);
  • Sarai's name ("Jah is Prince") was changed to Sarah ("princess") because God was going to make her a mother of nations and kings of peoples would come from her (Gen 17:15-16);
  • and Jacob's name ("supplanter" or heel catcher) was changed to Israel ("ruling with God" or "contender or soldier or prince of God") after he struggled with the angel (Gen 32:28).

The word "Israel" comes from two words: Sarah ("prince" or ruler or commander) and el ("god"). Princes had their names changed on their accession to the throne (2Kgs 23:34, 24:17; note information under "name" in Unger's Bible Dictionary, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, etc.).

gp100 In the New Testament names also were of a more distinctive nature than they are today. Names in the New Testament times, at least among the Biblical Jews, represented certain aspects of the person. For example, "Jesus" is the English translation of the Greek word "Iesous" which is the equivalent of the Hebrew "Joshua" (Jehoshua) meaning: "Jehovah (is) salvation." Thus, "she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins" (Mat 1:21).

gp101 In the New Testament names were also changed during one's life time for various reasons. For example, Simon's name was changed to Peter and Saul's name was changed to Paul.

Dual Meaning Of Names

gp102 A name of a single person or quality can also refer to a whole nation or all those with that single quality:

  • Israel, the individual, or Israel, the nation (see "Seed Paper" [PR 1]).
  • Christ, the individual, or Christ, the whole Body of Spiritual people in Christ's Spirit (see New Mind Papers).
  • Seed, the individual (Christ), or Seed in the sense of all those in the true Seed (see "Seed Paper" [PR 1]).
  • God's Spirit, as individually distinctive versus other kinds of spirit, or any to all Spirits of the same nature as God's.
  • Satan, as the individual, or any to all the spirits or angels of the same nature as Satan's.
  • Beast, the individual, or the system of the Beast (see Beast Papers [PR 2, PR 3]).

A name of a person can also have a physical and Spiritual meaning: There is a physical Israel and a Spiritual Israel (see "Seed Paper" [PR 1]).

Great Significance of the Name

The Name in Scripture

gp103 In the Bible there was a great significance placed on the Name of the true God. God revealed His Name to Moses when Moses asked Him for His name (Exod 3:13-16). His Name was a memento or memorial to all generations (Exod 3:15). Moses spoke in God's Name (Exod 5:23). God spoke to Moses and told him that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew God as "God Almighty" for God had not revealed His Name to them (Exod 6:2-3). God declared His Name to the people of the earth (land) by showing His great power against Egypt during the Hebrews' exodus from Egypt (Exod 9:13-16). God warned the Hebrews about taking His Name in vain (Exod 20:7). God said He would bless the Hebrews in every place in which He caused His Name to be remembered (Exod 20:24). God proclaimed His Name to Moses (Exod 33:19, 34:6).

gp104Before the Hebrews went into the promised land God instructed them to seek the place where God shall choose to put His Name (Deut 12:1-5). The Levites were chosen by God to stand and to minister in the Name of God (Deut 18:l, 5). Aaron and his sons were to put God's Name on the Israelites (Num 6:27). God's Name is called on Israel (Deut 28:10; 2Chr 7:14; Isa 56:5; Dan 9:19). False prophets caused Israel to forget God's Name and use the name of Baal ("Lord") instead (Jer 23:27). Israel would profane the Name of God among the other nations (Ezek 36:21-22). Jews in Egypt would also forget God's Name (Jer 44:26). But the God delivers for his Name's sake (Pss 23:3, 25:11, 143:11; Isa 48:9). Since God's Name was called on Israel, if Israel was totally destroyed, God's Name would not have remained (Josh 7:9; Isa 48:9). Therefore, God for his holy Name's sake, promises to give Israel a new heart and a new spirit so they can keep God's law and thus not profane God's Name (Ezek 36:21-27). God told Moses that He was going to raise up a prophet to the Israelites from among their brothers, and that God would put His words in the month of the prophet (note, John 12:49), and that this prophet would speak in God's Name (Deut 18:15-19).

gp105 God told David through a messenger that David's seed would build a house for God's Name (2Sam 7:l-13). Solomon gave directions for the construction of the house for God's Name (l Kings 5:5-6). After Solomon finished building the house, God appeared to him and said to Solomon that His Name would be put there (l Kings 9:3). The temple was the house for God's Name (1Kgs 8:15-20). God's Name was on Jerusalem and its temple (2Kgs 21:4,7; Jer 3:17). The Name was on mount Zion (Isa 18:7).

gp106 Jesus Christ came in his Father's Name (Mat 21:9; John 5:43, 10:25; etc.). Jesus Christ in a Spiritual sense was the true temple of God (note John 2:19,21; compare with 1Cor 3:16-17, 6:19; etc.). Jesus Christ's Father is God (John 8:54; see GP 2 of the God Papers). God the Father gave His Name to Jesus (John 17:11-12, NIV, see Greek text; see Jer 23:5-6, 33:14-16). This is Jesus Christ's new Name (Rev 3:12). Jesus Christ's new Name is better than the angels (Heb 1:3-4). Jesus did his work in his Father's Name (John 10:25). Jesus said that whatsoever a follower of him should ask in his Name He would do it (remember Jesus was in his Father's Name) (John 15:16).

gp107 After Jesus died, and then rose up to life again, it was said that those believing that Jesus was the Christ (the Messiah) would have life in Jesus' Name (John 20:31). After this, people were baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38, 8:16). Those who were baptized in the Name of Jesus are in effect in the Name of Jesus and are said to be in the Name of Jesus (1Cor 5:4). Those in God's Name are saved, have life, are justified, preach boldly, their sins are forgiven and they receive God's Spirit, and signs and wonders are done by them (John 20:31; Acts 2:38, 4:12,30, 9:27,29, 10:43; 1Cor 6:11; 1John 2:12). These are called in a Spiritual sense the "temple of God" (1Cor 3:16-17, 6:19; 2Cor 6:16).

gp108The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have the same Name (Mat 28:19). The 144,000 have the Name written on their foreheads (Rev 14:1). Remember those in the Name of Jesus Christ are in the Name of God because God gave His Name to Jesus Christ (John 17:11-12, NIV; Phil 2:9; see Jer 23:5-6, 33:14-16).

gp109 God is taking out of the nations a people for his Name (Amos 9:11-12; Acts 15:2,12-14). In fact all nations shall be gathered to the Name (Jer 3:17, 4:2). God has sons and daughters from the ends of the earth who will be called by His Name, "whom I [Lord, yhwh] created for my glory, whom I formed and made" (Isa 43:6-7,21, NIV). After God's judgment he will change the people's speech and call all of them by the Name of God: "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, to call them all by the name of the Lord [yhwh], to serve Him with one consent (Zeph 3:9, see Hebrew text; see YLT; see Eph 3:15). All people will be in His Name, and call or pray in His Name. If you can call in someone's name, you can be called by that name.

gp110 All through the Bible one can find where people call upon the Name of God and trust in His Name. By looking "name" up in Young's concordance or in Strong's concordance you can see how important God's Name was to His people.

But what is God's Name?

For more about God click appropriate link top right to continue.


 

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Press of the BeComingOne Church

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