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By Davis Huckabee

Chapter Two
El, Eloah and Elohim

We here enter into a study that is acknowledged by all sane men to be an inconceivably great subject—the subject of God—and consequently a subject that is beyond the capability of the human mind to fully grasp except by a revelation by that God. Yea, even with the revelation that God has given of Himself, the human creature still comes pitifully short of anything like a full understanding of God. Better should a man with a teaspoon think to empty the oceans of their combined waters than that man should think to find out God in His fullness by human reasoning ability. And yet, although one finds a few individuals that claim to be atheists, upon examination these are generally found to be most involved in convincing themselves of their claim than anyone else, for belief in the existence of God is an inwrought fact in man, since man was created in the beginning for the purpose of worshipping God. But because of man’s universally fallen nature, he will always reason wrongly about God and try to get rid of the fearful prospect of an absolutely sovereign God to whom all must one day give an answer. The existence of God is a first truth that was implanted in all people in their first parent Adam.

The Bible never attempts to prove the being of God, but always assumes it. Indeed the very idea of a Revelation presupposes the recognized existence of a Revealer. The Scriptures accordingly assume this existence as well-known and universally admitted. In like manner, the earliest Christian apologists attempted no formal proof of the divine existence. Denying as they did the real existence of the heathen deities, and compelled in consequence of this, to defend themselves against the charge of atheism, it was not so much the existence of God as their recognition of it, which they were required to prove. The apologists of the first two or three centuries did little else than assume the being of God as an intuitive belief or an axiomatic truth of religion. [E. G. Robinson, Christian Theology, p. 46. Press of E. R. Andrews, Rochester, N. Y., 1894.]

Surely this almost universal belief in the existence of God is significant, suggesting as it does that this was involved in God’s original purpose in the creation of the race of man. Nor will it do to cite the modern day attempt of so many to totally ignore God, if not to deny His existence. There have already been 6,000 years of human history that shows the general belief of man that there is a Supreme Being that controls all things. The modern general unbelief in God’s existence is mostly just wishful thinking on selfish, self-centered man’s part. He wishes that there was no God, and he lives as if there were no God, but that in no way alters the facts of the case.

A. It is an acknowledged fact that the vast majority of men have actually recognized the existence of a spiritual being or beings, upon whom they conceive themselves to be dependent… B. Those races and nations which have at first seemed destitute of such knowledge have uniformly, upon further investigation, been found to possess it, so that no tribe of men with which we have thorough acquaintance can be said to be without an object of worship. We may presume that further knowledge will show this to be true of all… C. This conclusion is corroborated by the fact that those individuals, in heathen or in Christian lands, who profess themselves to be without any knowledge of a spiritual power or powers above them, do yet indirectly manifest the existence of such an idea in their minds and its positive influence over them… D. This agreement among individuals and nations so widely separated in time and place can be most satisfactorily explained by supposing that it has its ground, not in accidental circumstances, but in the nature of man as man. The diverse and imperfectly developed ideas of the supreme Being which prevail among men are best accounted for as misinterpretations and perversions of an intuitive conviction common to all. [A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, pp. 56-57. Fleming H. Revell Company, 1954.]

When we come to the Bible the first thing that meets our eyes is the fact of God already existing, and He is presented, not by way of attempted proof of His existence, but simply as existing and acting as God, Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God…” Here is the first appearance of the Hebrew word Elohim that appears literally hundreds of times in the Old Testament as one may see by consulting any of the large concordances that men have made. This word is the Divine answer to the oft-cited objection to the doctrine of the Trinity that, “The word Trinity is nowhere to be found in the Bible.” Our answer is, Of course it is not, you dummy, for Trinity is an English word, and the Bible was generally written in Hebrew and Greek, not in English. Few translations of Scripture carry the names of God as they are found in the original languages, but if they are faithful translations they carry the equivalent meanings of the original languages. One of the few exceptions to this is the recent translation called “God’s Word Translation” from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in which all the Divine names are those that appear in the original languages in their original spellings.

However, our knowledge of God at its greatest and in its purest form, and even as a result of His revelation of Himself to us, is going to be far from complete, and this for several reasons. (1) Man is a sinner, and so, his very nature is contrary to God, and hinders his knowledge of God to the extent that it can. (2) Man is a finite being, and as such he cannot understand the Infinite. (3) Satan is the great deceiver, and he blinds other creatures to God’s glorious attributes to the degree that he is allowed. (4) Most of “religion” is humanistic and satanic, and so, it more often obscures than manifests Divine truth. (5) God has purposefully kept many things about Himself secret simply because they are none of man’s business, (Deut. 29:29). (6) God has reserved many glorious things about Himself to be revealed when man is better fitted to understand and to appreciate him. (7) And there are many glorious things about God that are futuristic, and will only be fully revealed during the coming reign of God the Son over all the earth during the Millennium. Then shall “the earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as waters cover the sea,” (Isa. 11:9. Cf. also Hab. 2:14).

While, therefore, it is admitted not only that the infinite God is incomprehensible and that our knowledge of Him is both partial and imperfect, that there is much in God which we do not know at all, and that what we do know, we know very imperfectly, nevertheless our knowledge, as far as it goes, is true knowledge. God really is what we believe Him to be, so far as our idea of Him is determined by the revelation which He has made of Himself in His works, in the constitution of our nature, in His Word, and in the person of His Son. To know is simply to have such apprehensions of an object as conform to what that object really is. [Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Abridged Edition, p. 126. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1988.]

But the problem is never in God nor in the revelation that He has given of Himself in His Word, but rather it is always in human ignorance, human bias due to sin, a preference for human traditions and interpretations, the desire for a theology that will permit man to exalt himself in his own mind, the desire for an “easy Christianity” that makes no demands upon the individual yet promises eternal blessedness, and in other purely humanistic things. And there is only one thing that can counteract all these things, and that is an adherence to the inspired Word of “Him that cannot lie,” (Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18).

Those that oppose the Trinitarian concept of God generally do so because they assume erroneously that this is contradicted by those few texts that speak of God as “one,” such as Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord,” (Cf. Isa. 44:6). It is most interesting and instructive to look at the appearance of this same Hebrew word echad as it appears in Numbers 13:23: “And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff…” Here was one cluster of grapes that had so many grapes in it that it took two men to carry it. Clearly then unity is not inconsistent with internal multiplicity, and there are other illustrations of this same principle in Scripture. Indeed, in Isaiah 44:6 we have a proof of this, for this One God that declares that there is none other God declares that He consists in two distinct Jehovahs, Jehovah the King of Israel and His Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts. Add to this the reference in Isaiah 11:2 to “the Spirit of Jehovah” and you have three distinct Persons that constitute this “One God,” and so, disbelievers in the doctrine of the Trinity are shown to be simply stubborn rebels against the Divine revelation of this glorious truth. But more of this later.

Before getting into the usage of the word Elohim, it is needful to consider these other two words, El and Eloah, which are of much rarer usage. These are both singular in number as opposed to Elohim which is plural in form. A note of explanation is here necessary. The Hebrew language is different from English. In English we have two numbers for nouns and other parts of speech: singular = one, and plural = two or more. But the Hebrew language has three numbers: singular = one, dual = two, and plural = three or more. This explains the rarer usage of El and Eloah, for these are only used of false deities or of the True God when only one of the persons of the Godhead is under discussion. This is seen in Job 19:25-36, where Job testifies of his coming Redeemer (Hebrew Go’el) but the word “God” renders Eloah (singular), for only One Person of the Godhead is coming back to earth. The same thing is true in Habakkuk 3:3: “God (Eloah) came from Teman,” for this also has to do with the second coming of Christ, and so, it is singular, for The Son of God alone returns from heaven to earth. According to count in Young’s Analytical Concordance, the Hebrew name El appears about 225 times, most commonly in Job, Psalms and Isaiah, but also in many of the other books of the Old Testament.

El is a name of God, generally supposed to imply strength, omnipotence; particularly used in poetry, and as the language of an individual relation to God. In prose it is scarcely ever used without an attributive adjective or genitive. In poetic language it is more frequently used alone, and occurs frequently in Job, Psalms, and Isaiah, sometimes with the article Ho El… [He then cites numerous instances where it is used with “my” or otherwise in an attributive sense.] These phrases may illustrate in what sense the believer uses this name of God, when he would call Him “my God.” Yet this title is also the general name of idols and false gods, of whom it is used probably with an implied reference to the true God, in whose stead idols are put by those who fall away from Jehovah; in this sense Deuteronomy 32:21 must be understood, Lo El. This name of God is used to express whatever is pre-eminent in excellence, as cedars of God, (Ps. 80:10); mountains of God, (Ps. 36:6). [William Wilson. Old Testament Word Studies, pp. 195-196. MacDonald Publishing Co., McLean, VA., no date.]

This name is used in conjunction with several other terms to describe something about God, such as El Chay, the living God,( Deut. 5:26), El Elyon, The most High God, (Gen. 14:18-19), El Kanna, A jealous God, (Ex. 20:5), El Olam, The everlasting God, (Gen. 21:330, El Rahum, (Deut. 4:31) the merciful God, El Roi, The God Who sees me, (Gen. 16:13), El Shaddai, God Almighty, (Gen. 17:1), and perhaps others. We have not given all references to these different names, but have only given a sampling of each one to prevent having too much material to cover, which will generally be our practice with other words as well. These things have to do with the attributes of God, and are important for that reason—that they give us an insight into whom and what God actually is. Hence they tend to refute that parody of God that Satan so often whispers into the ears of naturally rebellious sinners, that God is a great cosmic killjoy that is doing His best to make His creatures as miserable as possible. The more that we know about God the more that we realize that there is not a word of truth in that lying parody.

The attributes of God are those distinguishing characteristics of the divine nature which are inseparable from the idea of God and which constitute the basis and ground for his various manifestations to his creatures. We call them attributes, because we are compelled to attribute them to God as fundamental qualities or powers of his being, in order to give rational account of certain constant facts in God’s self-revelation. [A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 244. Fleming H. Revell Co., 1954.].

God has revealed Himself to us as He really is that we might see more fully why we have such a high duty to know and to love Him, for all His attributes, so far from motivating us to fear and to hate God, rather give us the highest of reasons to love Him, which is His first commandment to His rational creatures, (Matt. 22:37-40).

From the dawn of our being we have had demonstrations of God’s existence and character, blazing around us like the light of noonday. The heavens and the earth have declared his glory; his ministers and people have proclaimed his name; he is not to us an unknown God, except so far as our minds are willfully blind to the displays of his glory. If, therefore, we withhold the affections of our hearts, we can have no excuse in the plea that more evidence is needed. And with hearts so alienated from God at the outset, all our religious inquiries are likely to be unprofitable. What probability is there that further proof will produce its proper impression and effect on our minds, if that which is already in our possession is unheeded or abused? [John L. Dagg, Manual Of Theology and Church Order, pp. 43-44. Gano Books, Harrison, VA. 1982.]

Thus God’s self-revelation in His inspired Word leaves all mankind without excuse before Him for, (1) It is a complete revelation of all that the human creature needs to know to fulfill his Divine destiny. (2) It is an infallible revelation, for there is no room for even the possibility of error in the original documents. (3) It is accompanied by the enlightenment of the Spirit of God—its Author—so that the submissive believer has the mind of Christ in the Word, (1 Cor. 2:16). (4) It is by this means alone that fallen man can know the living God. (5) Never before in human history has the Word of God been so available to so many people as it now is. (6) Yet, tragedy of tragedies, never before have so many people been so negligent concerning the knowledge of God and His will. (7) No wonder then, that so many people are so far out of the will of God.

The theological idea of inspiration, like its correlative revelation, presupposes a personal mind and will—in Hebrew terminology, the “living God”—acting to communicate with other spirits. The Christian belief in inspiration, not alone in revelation, rests both on explicit biblical assertions and on the pervading mood of the scriptural record… Inspiration is a supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit upon divinely chosen men in consequence of which their writings become trustworthy and authoritative. [Carl F. H. Henry, Article: “Inspiration,” in Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, p. 286, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1960.]

But to get back to our subject proper, we come now to briefly examine the Hebrew name Eloah, which by count is found fifty-six times in Young’s Analytical Concordance, mainly in the book of Job (forty-one times). As noted before, this name is singular, and so, its references are to one Person of the Divine Godhead, or to false deities, as in 2 Chronicles 32:15; Daniel 11:37, 38, 39; Habakkuk. 1:11. Now as the so-called Unitarians would like to think, if the one true God is not Trinitarian, but consists of only one Person, this word and El, the single forms, ought to be the only names ever used of God, yet such is not the case at all. These two singular forms are relatively rare, appearing less than 300 times in the Old Testament, whereas the form with the plural ending—Elohim—is used over 2500 times in the Old Testament. Now that is careless on God’s part if He would have everyone believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is false, for He is the One that inspired the multiple usages of the plural word Elohim that can, by no stretch of the imagination, be seen as anything but a teaching of the doctrine of the Trinity of God. Here a clarification must be made. Earlier we referred to “the so-called unitarians,” by which we referred to those that deny the doctrine of the Trinity, but in so saying, we neither deny nor discount the true doctrine of the Unity of God for all true Trinitarians are also Unitarian in their theology. There is no contradiction in the true doctrines of the unity of God and in His trinitarianism.

Although not itself a biblical term, the trinity has been found a convenient designation for the one God self-revealed in Scripture as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It signifies that within the one essence of the Godhead we have to distinguish three “persons” who are neither three gods, on the one side, nor three parts or modes of God on the other, but coequally and coeternally God. The main contribution of the O.T. to the doctrine is to emphasize the unity of God. God is not himself a plurality, nor is he one among many others. He is single and unique: “The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4), and he demands the exclusion of all pretended rivals (Deut. 5:7ff.). Hence there can be no question of tritheism. [Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Article: “The Trinity,” in Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, p. 531, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1960.]

It was the debates over the doctrines of the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the unity of the Father and Christ, the unity of the two natures in Christ, and some of the other related doctrines that occupied the minds of many during the first five centuries of the Christian era. It seemed that false religionists plumbed the depths of heresy during those times, but these false ideas were met and refuted. Yet falsehood is never permanently destroyed, and every generation produces a fresh crop of doubters, and they often go back and resurrect some of the ancient heresies, often without realizing that these have existed before and been refuted. Thank God He has given His elect people His Word of Truth, and if we adhere to it and not to the theories and interpretations of men, we shall be both saved by faith and sound in the faith. Part of this adherence lies in a clear understanding of God’s Names and in the truths that they teach about Him. Thus, this is not a mere logomachy—a war over words—but these things are of great importance to a person having a proper view of God, and therefore a proper attitude toward Him.

In the doctrine of the Trinity, we encounter one of the truly distinctive doctrines of Christianity. Among the religions of the world, the Christian faith is unique in making the claim that God is one and yet there are three who are God. In so doing, it presents what seems on the surface to be a self-contradictory doctrine. Furthermore, this doctrine is not overtly or explicitly stated in Scripture. Nevertheless, devout minds have been led to it as they sought to do justice to the witness of Scripture. The doctrine of the Trinity is crucial for Christianity. It is concerned with who God is, what he is like, how he works, and how he is to be approached. Moreover, the question of the deity of Jesus Christ, which has historically been a point of great tension, is very much wrapped up with one’s understanding of the Trinity. [Millard J, Erickson, Christian Theology, pp. 321-322. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1991.]

Leaving behind the references to the singular forms of the words for God—El and Eloah, which are relatively rare—we pass now to the most common Hebrew word for God—Elohim—which is the most common name of all names in Scripture. Because of the great multiplicity of appearances of this name in Scripture, it is not possible to consider every one of the over 2500 appearances of it, and so, we will have to limit our study to a few of the significant ones. Reference has already been made to the opening statement of the Bible as revealing the fact that God is a multiplex Being, for want of a better terminology. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth… And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” (Gen. 1:1, 2). Here are two Persons of the Divine Godhead, and when we factor in certain New Testament commentaries on the creation, we have all three Persons of the Godhead. John 1:1-3: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” Hebrews 1:1-2: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” Other texts also teach that all of the creation was the handiwork of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, which is decidedly against the human theory that the plural ending on Elohim is simply “the plural of majesty,” i. e., used only to imply the majesty of the subject. To this present writer, this explanation seems rather to be nothing less than the stubborn disbelief of the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity.

Not only so, but shortly we find afterward these same Divine Persons manifesting their individuality and distinct characters by using plural pronouns of themselves, as in Genesis 1:2: “And God [Elohim] said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (See also 3:22; 11:5-7). Therefore, if God declares Himself to be plural in personality, how dares any mere creature to deny this simply because his own frail, faulty, finite mind cannot grasp such a great concept. We are taught in 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 that spiritual things are infinitely above the creature’s ability to understand apart from a revelation of them by the Holy Spirit, Who does not grant much enlightenment to the natural man so long as he is in rebellion against God’s revelation. Someone has well said that if man could fully understand God it would indicate that God was not much different than man, yet such is not the case, and we mere wriggling worms of the dust must recognize our humble estate and Let God be God in all His glorious fullness.

From the earliest revelation of Himself God manifested Himself as a loving and compassionate God that was concerned for the best long-term interests of His creatures. The almost inconceivable greatness of His full provisions for every need of that first pair is proof of this, and the only thing withheld from them, the fruit of the forbidden tree, (Gen. 2:16-17), was a test of them, not a true deprivation. Yea, and even after they had failed this test and manifested themselves to be deceived and depraved creatures, and brought this state upon all their descendents, yet still the goodness of God was evidenced, and continued to be evident down to this very moment, (Acts 17:24-25, 28). The common grace that all experience, even the most wicked and rebellious, throughout this present life, is a clear manifestation of the goodness of God. Yea, even those drawings of God that the natural man hates so bitterly, even these are proofs of God’s goodness, (Rom. 2:4-6).

All of which, together with many other facts, gives full justification for the following statement concerning this third name of God—Elohim—and its definition, which statement we will later have occasion to expand upon and elucidate as we examine the appearances of this word, and what it signifies.

Elohim m. pl. the name more generally used of the God revealed in Scripture, as to creation and providence, in the plural intimating the three persons of the Godhead; the second person more particularly as Creator, and communing with our first parents in paradise. In this view He is more generally referred to by this name in respect to other people, than to the professed worshippers of the God of his own people. A clear distinction may be traced by an intelligent mind in every passage of Holy Writ between this title and that of Jehovah, the revealed God of grace afterward to be manifested in the flesh, and the discrimination is confidently recommended to all attentive readers of the Scriptures, as including much instruction and security against assumed notions of the skeptics of the day. [William Wilson, Old Testament Word Studies, p. 196. MacDonald Publishing Co., McLean, VA. No date.]

Generally speaking there are three great areas of God’s works, two of them interrelated, and the third the end for which the first two are wrought. These three areas are Creation, Providence and Redemption. Someone has characterized the whole creation as the stage upon which the great drama of redemption is to be played out. This being true, then Providence is simply the controlling of Creation so that it fulfills its Divine purpose. The following statement gives us an insight into the interrelationship of these first two great works of Elohim.

The first act of God in carrying into effect his purpose was that of creation. And by the act of creation is meant an act that originated being, and thereby increased the sum total of force in existence. For while neither the essence nor the power of God was diminished by that act, new being and power, in some sense outside of himself, were brought into existence by it… All things created owe their continuance in being to the power of God. Two propositions are embraced in this statement: first, that all created things have a being or nature of their own. And, second, that this being or nature is forever dependent on God… The word “providence” means, primarily, fore-sight. But as human foresight is associated with plans and efforts to bring to pass certain results, the word “providence” has come to signify the provision which God makes for attaining the ends of his government, and so the care which he takes of all his people, indeed, of all his creatures. Of course, therefore, his “providence” is but a part of his work in carrying into effect his “purpose;” and a large part of the scriptural testimony to the existence of his “purpose” is proof of his “providence.” Provision rests upon a plan… So close a connection unites all parts and events of the created universe that God’s government must be providential over every part and event, or over nothing at all. Hence the propriety of distinguishing between a general and a special providence is doubtful. Perhaps it would be well to characterize the providence of God as special in the case of miracles, gracious in respect to Christians, and particular in all things. [Alvah Hovah, Manual of Systematic Theology And Ethics, pp. 99, 101, 102-103, 104. American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1880.]

It is this interrelation between these three great areas of the Divine workings that moved different writers to speak of the wisdom of God with such reverence and praise, for only infinite wisdom could not only think out such a glorious eternal purpose, but could bring to pass all the necessary agencies to perfectly accomplish it. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen,” (Rom. 11:33-36). “Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered,” (Ps. 40:5).

An instance of the wisdom of God in judgment is seen in Genesis 11:1ff, and though it is not specifically so stated, the context suggests that man’s endeavor to make a name for himself is diametrically opposed to the proper honoring of the Name of the Lord. There was a unity to the human race at that time under Nimrod, the great rebel against God, (Gen. 10:8-18), and, probably with the Flood still in their minds, the rebellious people, who had already reverted to the character of the people that brought on the flood by their wickedness, (Gen. 6:5), determined to make a name for themselves by building a super-tall tower—perhaps one supposedly tall enough that it would not be covered should another flood come, (Gen. 11:2-4). They had determined upon a great worldwide government, despite God’s command for them to scatter and multiply and replenish the earth, (Gen. 9:1). Jehovah came down and examined their actions and attitudes, and then held a conference between the three Persons of the Godhead, and finding their attitudes presumptuous and impious, They confused the language, and thereby scattered them upon the whole earth. They wanted to make a name for themselves, and God gave them one—Babel—“Confusion.”

In mercy God refused to allow their wicked scheme to succeed. How many times in history has God stopped men who wished to organize the world under central control (Napoleon and Hitler are examples). This was effectually done by causing the different families to speak different languages and thus scattering them abroad. Thus God’s original plan to repopulate the earth was carried out. Even today the multitude of languages hinders dictators from achieving world-wide control. [Ron Crisp, Studies In Genesis, p. 66. First Baptist Church, Independence, KY. No date.]

Such will always be the result when man pits his puny wisdom and strength against Divine omniscience and omnipotence. But the same idolatrous rebellion against God’s will and worship continues to this day, so that the final consummation of world religion that will be situated at the last day in the City of the Seven Hills will bear the same designation—“MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,” (Rev. 17:1-5).

Throughout Scripture, both Old Testament and New Testament alike, Abraham is held forth as a prototype of the believer, yet one of the first elements that we see manifest in Abraham as he became more and more aware of God’s working and guidance in his life was his worship, which involved him calling upon the name of the Lord, as in Genesis 12:8: “There he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.”

At the first appearing the God of Glory called upon Abram to separate himself from his place by nature; but at this second appearing He reveals Himself to Abram for communion, and the result is that Abram erects an altar. There was no “altar” for Abram in Ur or Haran. It is not until there is real separation from the world that fellowship with God is possible. First the obedience of faith and then communion and worship. [A. W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis, p. 144. Moody Press, Chicago, 1922.]

Here, in this early instance of worship by him that became “the father of all them that believe,” (Rom. 4:11; Cf. Gal. 3:7), we see an important principle established. To “call upon the name of the Lord” is not a mere formality—the simple repeating of some form of prayer, or the going through a mere liturgical form. No! It must involve actual worship of God, and that worship must be “in spirit and in truth,” (John 4:23-24). Here is where the majority of the religious world goes astray—its worship is “vain”—empty of any spirituality or vitality or godly purpose, but generally only follows some denominational traditions (See Matt. 15:9), that are thought to obligate God to respond by their repetitiousness, (Matt. 6:7), or their supposed meritoriousness. Such is not praying “in the name of the Lord,” but is all based upon some doing of man.

Earlier we made reference to God’s revelation of Himself as “I AM THAT I AM,” (Ex. 3:14), and mentioned that this had mystified many Bible scholars because it seemed to be a paradox, but such is not the case at all. It is mystical because man is such a limited creature—limited to time and space and to his own finiteness, none of which has any bearing on God since He is above all time and space and is infinite in all of His being.

This signifies the real being of God, his self-existence, and that he is the Being of beings; as also it denotes his eternity and immutability, and his constancy and faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, for it includes all time, past, present, and to come; and the sense is, not only I am what I am at present, but I am what I have been, and I am what I shall be, and shall be what I am. [John Gill, Exposition of the Bible, Vol. I, P, 263. Turner Lassetter, Atlanta, 1960.]

This corresponds with what is declared of the Son of God in John 1:1 and 1 John 1:1 in the inspired texts where the Greek verb is not the one that means to come into existence (egeneto) but it is ean the imperfect form of the verb eimi and means “that which was already existing” in the beginning. It sets forth the same truth about the Son of God as is seen in Proverbs 8:22-23 and Micah 5:2. Like the other members of the Godhead, He is from everlasting to everlasting, eternally God without change of any kind or degree—a profound mystery to us mere creatures who are subject to constant change, corruption and cessation of physical life. All which shows the utter foolishness of anyone trying to judge what God is by using human thinking—there is little comparison between the creature and the Creator, and we are only able to understand God as we yield ourselves wholly to His revelation of Himself to us, and He must even interpret that revelation to us.

All of which emphasizes why the command is repeatedly given to hold God’s Name in reverence, (Ex. 20:7), and not profane it is any way, (Lev. 18:21; 19:12; 20:3; 21:6; 22:2, 32; 24:16). Because God’s Names reveal what God is, any profaning of His name is a direct attack upon the reality of God, as revealed in His Names, and an attempted denial of some aspect of His being. When we consider how commonly man takes God’s Name in vain in ordinary speech, how great is the guilt of the average person in this area alone, without even considering the many and varied other areas where man sins against God, (Deut. 5:11).

Many of the references to God (Elohim) are joined with “Lord” (Jehovah) and so some of these will come under consideration when we look at that Name. But we notice something outstanding about God in Genesis 6:11-12: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Here we learn, as was suggested in Genesis 3, that God is a constant observer of the actions of men, and holds every individual accountable for them. He did not create the world to be a cesspool of wickedness, and so, He must often judge His erring creatures for their rebellion. In Genesis 18:25 Abraham recognized God’s character as “the Judge of all the earth,” and it was in this character that God was here acting as He analyzed the all but universal wicked actions of the whole race of men. The reference is to the Son of God, for He has been appointed the judge of men, for this is part of His Mediatorial work between God and men, (1 Tim. 2:5; John 5:22).

Meaning the Lord, to whom he drew nigh, and was praying to, and pleading with, even the Son of God in human form, who, as he made the world, was the Governor of it and Judge in it; and indeed, as Mediator, has all judgment committed to him, and is appointed to be Judge of quick and dead at the last day, and who does all things that are just and equitable in providence now; for there is no unrighteousness in him, not in any of his ways and works, and who will judge righteous judgment hereafter. [John Gill, Commentary on the Bible, Vol. I, pp. 104-105. Turner Lasset-ter, Atlanta, 1960.]

Thus this reference to God involves the fact that He is the moral Governor of the universe, and can no more overlook evil than He can cease to be God. How then can man be so stupid as to think that he can hold God’s holy will in contempt and escape the just deserts of his sins? His attempt to do so is but another of the many evidences of the race-wide total depravity of men that makes every individual member an obvious sinner. But one of the great outstanding attributes of God is His longsuffering as He revealed Himself to be in Exodus 34:5-7 when He proclaimed His Name to Moses. He does not react in judgment every time some sinner rebels against His will, but He is the best bookkeeper in the world, and He keeps a perfect record of every thought, word, act and omission of man, and this will be among the books that will be opened at the great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 19:11-15 as the spiritually dead will have allotted to them their degrees of torment in the lake of fires. And there is no way that any unsaved person can escape the solemn consequences of his sins except by God’s grace.

By the same token, God keeps close tabs upon those people that He has brought into a covenant relationship with Himself so that He is always aware of their adversities and respects their persons. Here is where many people go astray, for they have read the Scripture statements that, “God is no respecter of persons,” (Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11, et al), and they assume that this applies in every situation and circumstance, when actually it applies only in matters of judgment. This phrase means to show partiality, and unless one holds to the heresy of God being influenced by human works, then it is both obvious and logical that God respects the persons of His elect, for grace is the only basis for man’s hopes of salvation and God’s respect of them is simply His honoring of His own grace in them. The second of several declarations that God does respect persons in matters of salvation, the covenant of redemption, grace and otherwise, is seen in Exodus 2:24-25. “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” (See also Gen. 4:4; Lev. 26:9; 1 Kings 8:28; 2 Kings 13:23; 2 Chron. 6:19; Ps. 74:20; 138:6 where God is said to respect the persons of His people).

In most of these, God’s covenant is expressed or implied as the basis of His having respect, which proves that this phrase does not mitigate against election. God can and does bestow His favors when and where He pleases, for He operates according to His own sovereign good pleasure, (Eph. 1:5-11). Only in judgment is there no respect of persons, for there is no grace in that solemn event, but only a pure, damning justice. Since every good and perfect gift is from God, (James 1:17), and since no two persons enjoy the same blessings of providence, it is obvious that God does respect persons in providence, as well as in grace. [Davis W. Huckabee, Studies On Romans, p. 27. Unpublished manuscript. (See full manuscript at].

How easy it is for religious people to parrot biblical words and phrases without having any idea about the meaning and application of them, but they happily adopt such phrases when they flatter one’s high opinion of himself and his supposed abilities. Little wonder that man often is self-deceived by his presumptions!

God called Israel’s attention to their great and gracious standing in that He had revealed Himself to them yet without consuming them by the very brightness of His Shekinah glory, for Scripture often warned of this certain consequence of anyone seeing God in His full glory—it would be like a person standing at ground zero in an atomic blast, (Ex. 33:20; Matt. 11:27; John 1:18; 6:46; 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:16). But to Israel God was gracious in revealing Himself to her yet without destroying her as we read in Deuteronomy 4:33: “Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?” And more than just revealing Himself to Israel, God delivered them out of Egyptian bondage, which was often referred to afterward as a great evidence of God’s graciousness to an undeserving people, (Ex. 20:2; Hosea 13:4; Acts 13:17, et al), and not until the Son of Man went to the Cross and suffered and died and rose again, was there a greater deliverance of the Lord’s people held out for their admiration. And however the average Jew might not now appreciate that, the day is coming when they will recognize their great blessedness in this regard, and will rejoice in God’s leading them out of those countries to the North of Israel—Russian and her satellites, (Jer. 23:7-8)—and be finally reunited in her Divinely given land. And some time after she will finally recognize her Messiah, (Rev. 1:7; Zech. 12:10), but this will only happen after two thirds of the nation are cut off and destroyed by the Antichrist just before the Lord’s return, (Zech. 13:8-9; 14:1-4).

And the preparations for this great event were foretold when King Ahaz was challenged to ask a sign of the Lord, and when he recognized that to do so would be to tempt the Lord and refused to do so, (Isa. 7:10-12), God gave him a sign that would confirm the Deity of the Messiah over seven hundred years later. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” (Isa. 7:14). And a short time later that marvelous description of this miracle child was given, wherein several other names were given to Him, (Isa. 9:6-7). Jeremiah likewise gave witness to the miracle of this birth, referring to it as involving a creative act on the part of God, (Jer. 31:22). And all this was recognized and acknowledged in Matthew 1:18-25 where Isaiah 7:14 is quoted as fulfilled in the birth of Jesus. Not only was the name “Jesus” significant, for it is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Jehoshua—meaning “Jehovah is Savior,” but the added title “Emmanuel” (following the spelling in the Greek) likewise signified His Deity, for it means “God with us.” This was an absolute necessity to the salvation of sinners. After referring to Isaiah 9:6, it is said:

Such are the titles by which he is announced. And, when he was about to come into the world, he is described, by the evangelist, as “Emmanuel,—God with us”… That the Mediator between God and apostate man must himself be God, is certain, from every light in which the subject can be viewed. To no one function of the mediatorial work would any mere creature, even the highest, be adequate. [Samuel J. Baird, The Elohim Revealed, p. 588. Lindsay and Blakiston, Philadelphia, 1860.]

In more modern times unbelieving “scholars” have found in ancient pagan records the belief in “gods” that were born of virgins and dwelt among men, and they have misinterpreted these, preferring to justify their own unbelief of the Word of God by attributing the Christian belief to an evolution from pagan origin. What they should have done is to recognize what these really were—corrupted residuals of an originally pure forecast of the coming “Seed of the woman,” (Gen. 3:15), that God had promised from the very time of man’s fall.

Now whatever notion the heathens had of an incarnate God, or of a divine person born of a virgin, in whatsoever manner expressed; this was not owing to any discoveries made by the light of nature, but what was traditionally handed down to them, and was the broken remains of a revelation their ancestors were acquainted with. Otherwise the incarnation of the Son of God, is a doctrine of pure revelation. [John Gill, A Body of Doctrinal Divinity, Book V, Ch. 1, p. 379. Turner Lassetter, Atlanta, 1950.]

What a glorious truth is here intimated! That the sovereign Creator of all things so humbled Himself to come into a human nature, live as a perfect man, allow Himself to be falsely accused and put to death, all so that He could rise from the dead to rescue and redeem His bitterest enemies from themselves and make them heirs of heaven. Yea, and all this totally apart from any human merit, but solely by Divine grace! But all this is generally rejected for the simple reason that it leaves no room for proud man to glory in himself and his doings, but gives all praise to God alone. In his continuing desire to “be as God,” (Gen. 3:5), the natural man will have none of it, and so, confirms his own damnation.

We have looked at only a very few instances of the workings of El, Eloah and Elohim in the Old Testament, and the great number of those that remain are often as marvelous as those that we have looked at, but time and space simply make it impossible to look at all of these marvels. But the further revelation that is given us in the New Testament, so far from contradicting what we find in the Old Testament, only builds upon that foundation and goes on to enlarge, expand and further apply the glorious truths therein.

The New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament name Elohim is the Greek word Theos, a word that is of numerous appearances (in excess of 1,300) in the New Testament. This was a word well known in its meaning to the pagans of the first century, for every nation and people had its “gods” that it professed to worship, to the Jews of the dispersion who knew the Greek language, and, of course, especially to the Christians.

THEOS (theos), in the polytheism of the Greeks, denoted a god or deity, (e. g., Acts 14:11; 19:26; 28:6; 1 Cor. 8:5; Gal. 4:8). Hence the word was appropriated by Jews and retained by Christians to denote the one true God. In the Septuagint theos translates (with few exceptions) the Hebrew words Elohim and Jehovah, the former indicating His power and pre-eminence, the latter His unoriginated, immutable, eternal and self-sustained existence. In the N. T., these and all the other Divine attributes are predicated of Him. [Condensed from W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Vol II, p. 160. Fleming H. Revell Co., 1966.]

Something that confirms what we found in our earlier studies on the Trinity of God is that when the Lord Jesus gave the Great Commission to His church He commanded that the ordinance of baptism was to be performed “in the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Three Persons, but one name! And we find other instances where the three Persons of the Godhead are shown to be unified, thus assuming the doctrine of the Trinity. This is to be seen in 2 Corinthians 13:14: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” Though the words “grace,” “love,” and “communion” (same Greek word rendered “fellowship”) are attributed to the three Persons of the Trinity, yet elsewhere we find each of them attributed to other Persons of the Godhead, so that an interrelation between the three is obvious.

Often in Scripture the first mention of a word or doctrine will be the most definitive, which is logical, for when best to define anything than when it is first brought up, and this is the case now before us, for the first mention of Theos—God in the New Testament is in Matthew 1:23 where “Emmanuel” is interpreted for us as meaning “God with us,” yet this is by way of explanation of the new born Jesus. HE IS GOD! Yea, He is the God whose coming was foretold in Isaiah 7:14. This little helpless infant was nonetheless the One God to the exclusion of all others, and He is the only Savior of sinners as well as the Creator, (Isa. 43:10-15; 44:6-8).

Here is emphasized what must be constantly kept in mind else we shall rob ourselves of much glorious truth, namely, that Scripture does not just consist in the New Testament, nor in two divisions, Old Testament and New Testament, for this is strictly a man-made division. No! Scripture refers to itself as “Scripture,” and includes all that God has given to specially chosen men to record for the instruction of His people, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. And though unbelieving rebels have sought, in every generation, to find some discrepancy in Scripture, they have been unable to do so. Mistakes in translation? Yes! Mistakes in interpretation? Often! Mistakes in application? Definitely! But these were all the doings of men, and God’s infallible Word remains inviolate, more dependable than the very earth upon which we all stand, (Matt. 24:35), and it will be brought up to judge all the activities of men at the last day, (John 12:47-48).

As Dr. Charles Hodge expressed it, revelation is the act of communicating divine knowledge to the mind, but inspiration is the act of the same Spirit controlling those who make that knowledge known to others. In Chalmer’s happy phrase, the one is the influx, the other the efflux… Every regenerated Christian is illuminated in the simple fact that he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but every such an one is not also inspired, but only the writers of the Old and New Testaments… When we speak of the Holy Spirit coming upon the men in order to the composition of the books, it should be further understood that the object is not the inspiration of the men but the books—not the writers but the writings. It terminates upon the record, in other words, and not upon the human instrument who made it. [Condensed from James M. Gray, Article: “THE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE—DEFINITION, EXTENT AND PROOF”, in The Fundamentals, Vol. II, pp.10, 11. Baker Book House, 2008.]

 This is because the One in charge of all this is the One known in Deuteronomy 32:4 as “the God of truth,” Who “cannot lie,” (Titus 1:2. Cf. Heb. 6:18). It is basically a paganistic, yea, even an atheistic attitude that looks for errors in the Word of God, for any God worthy of the name would be capable of so controlling His spokesmen that they would not make any mistakes in recording His messages to His creatures. And any so-called God that cannot, or will not control His appointed spokesmen is not the God of the Bible, but is the invention of those that are obviously atheistic, and who are endeavoring to justify their own unbelief of the Word of God. Indeed, in the above mentioned set of books known as The Fundamental (four volumes in two) several of the conservative writers have shown that this is indeed the chief characteristic of many of the “Critics” of Scripture, for they begin their studies of the Word of God with a bias against anything miraculous, anything supernatural, anything that is not of purely human ability. Who has time to waste to read after such people whose sole purpose is to discredit God—to actually un-God Him?

In the New Testament, so-called, Jesus Christ is the chief Personage because He came to be the Mediator—the middle Man, as mediator means, between God and man, (1 Tim. 2:5)—and He is the only Divinely approved Mediator between sinners and God, (John 14:6). Hence the declaration of Revelation 19:10f: “Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The “spirit” of anything is that central, all-important, life-giving part of it, and so, all prophecy finds its ultimate end in Him. Here angels forbade the worship of themselves by men, yet throughout the Gospels Jesus continually accepted the worship men—yea, He commanded it. Many prophecies seem at first glance to have no relevance to the coming of Christ, and may indeed be only on the periphery of application to Him, but are nonetheless related to Him. All of which emphasizes that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was God incarnate, as prophecy had promised that He would be, (Ps. 40:7-8), as is quoted in Hebrews 10:5-10.

Even more express to the Godhood of Jesus Christ is the testimony of Hebrews 1:8: “But unto the Son, he saith, Thy Throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.” Inspiration here contrasts the Son of God with the highest of the creation—the angels—and this leaves no wiggle room for heretics to say that it has no application to Jesus Christ, or that it must be understood only in a limited sense.

Deity is here ascribed to the Son of God; he is expressly called God; for the words will not bear to be rendered thy throne is the throne of God, or thy throne is God; or be supplied thus, God shall establish thy throne; nor are the words an apostrophe to the Father but are spoken to the King, the subject of the Psalm, who is distinguished from God the Father, being blessed and anointed by him; and this is put out of all doubt by the apostle, who says they are addressed to the Son, who is not a created God, nor God by office, but by nature; for though the word Elohim is sometimes used of those who are not gods by nature; yet being here used absolutely and the attributes of eternity, and most perfect righteousness, being ascribed to the person so called, prove him to be the true God; and this is the reason why his throne is everlasting, and his scepter righteous, and why he should be worshipped, served, and obeyed. [John Gill, Exposition of the Bible, Vol 5, p. 683. Turner Lassetter, Atlanta, 1960.]

And what can be said by way of denial of John’s prologue to his Gospel in John 1:1-2: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” All sorts of endeavors have been made by heretics to get around this very clear witness to the Deity of Christ, but few exceed the arrogance of the so-called Jehovah’s Witnesses who, by their rendering this “the Word was a god,” contradict their own pretended Deity, for Jehovah Himself says that there is no other god—He knows not of any, and if the omniscient—all-knowing—God knows not of any, there obviously are none, (Isa, 43:10-11; 44:8).

Whence this name? We will not waste our time in looking for its origin in the speculations of Philo, the Alexandrian Jew. His logos, mainly an energy or an attribute, and never an incarnate personality, is not the Logos of John. It serves us little better to wade through the muddy waters of Jewish tradition in any form… But always it is the Logos revealing the Father. Of this Logos, in one short sentence, John predicates three essential elements of divinity: (1) Absolute eternity of being, “In the beginning was the Word.” (2) Distinct personality, “And the Word was with God”—two persons together. (3) The nature or essence of Deity, “And the Word was God.” The absence of the article in the Greek before “God” in the third predicate clearly shows the meaning. The phrase is not, “the Word was the God,” but “the Word was God,” i. e., in nature or essence. The second verse sums up and emphatically repeats: “The same,” i. e., this very one so described as an eternal, divine Person was in the company and fellowship of God throughout eternity. It was always so; it was so in the beginning. [B. H. Carroll, An Interpretation of the English Bible, Vo. 10, pp. 50-51. Broadman Press, Nashville, 1947.]

He is referred to as “Our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” in Titus 2:13, as is a more literal rendering of the inspired Greek text. Yea, Jesus Himself referred to Himself as God, nor did He correct others when they gave Him the title of God, or when the Jews accused Him of “making Himself to be God.”

Christ designates himself as the Son of God, and as Lord. He seems to have preferred to call himself the Son of Man; but he also refers to God as in an exclusive sense his Father, and to himself as, in an equally exclusive sense, the Son of God. It is abundantly evident that by the title Son of God, the Jews understood him to “make himself equal with God,” and to “make himself God,” (John 5:18; 10:33); and it is just as evident that he uttered no word in correction of their interpretation of his language. He also applied to himself the title Lord, (Matt. 22:43; Mark 12:35-37), and emphatically recognized the propriety of its application by others, (John 13:13; Luke 6:46). [E. G. Robinson, Christian Theology, pp. 198-199. Press of E. R. Andrews, Rochester, NY, 1894.]

This explains why so many references to “God” in the New Testament have reference to Jesus of Nazareth, for He is the fulfillment of the many, many prophecies spoken in ancient times of “the Coming One,” that was the expectation of most spiritual Israelites, two of which are mentioned in Luke 2:25-38, ancient Simeon who “looked for Thy salvation,” (v. 30), and ancient Anna who was among those that “looked for Redemption in Jerusalem,” (v. 38). Nor can it be argued that Jesus so referred to Himself only by accommodation to the errors of the people, for to not correct error when others gave Him the title of God if that was an error, would be to lie by implication. And however such ways of doing things may be acceptable in our modern corrupt world, it is not the action of One that is Truth personified, and it is a slander of the worst sort to make such an accusation against the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is not a mere logomachy—a word fight—nor is this a matter of semantics—debates over the meaning of words of no consequence, for this deals with the Person to whom we trust our souls, and the One that we worship and serve, and if we make a mistake in the object of our worship it will have eternal consequences, for we shall be guilty of idolatry at best, and of atheism at worst. But this is all an ongoing part of that original temptation to “be as God,” (Gen. 3:5), which always has a strong appeal to utterly selfish, totally depraved man. And the translation there is easily misunderstood to be a lesser offense than it really is. The Hebrew word in Genesis 3:5 is Elohim, and “gods” would be a legitimate rendering hundreds of years later when human unbelief had invented numerous lesser deities, that men might desire to be like, but at the time this was spoken there had never been conceived in the mind of men or demons that there was any other God than Jehovah. So the temptation was to cast off all Divine restraints so as to become Jehovah Himself. This had been Satan’s ambition when he was the exalted cherub Lucifer, (Isa. 14:12-15), and he knew what a powerful temptation it would be to mere human creatures, and it still is. A great deal of human activities have always been endeavors “to be God”—independent, unrestrained by laws, rules, etc, able to compel others to do our will, attempts to exalt and glorify self, and many other attitudes that man is not presently fitted to exercise without doing great evil to his fellow creatures, and worse yet, to cast off all God’s authority, as in Psalm 2:1-3. This was quoted in Acts 4:25-28 as fulfilled at the crucifixion of Jesus, at which there was a universal rejection of Divine authority, for it was by representatives of both Gentiles and Jews. And yet, what was the result? The frustration of the purpose of God? No! Quite the contrary! Men only fulfilled the eternal purpose of God in spite of their will to the contrary. But in the process of their attempts, these all damned themselves, as is always the case when any creature sets his will against the will of the Creator.

We have touched upon so very few of the many, many proofs of God’s existence, and of His gracious invasion of the fallen human race in order to rescue a few of them from their own self-destruction, yet what we have found in every instance is a clear testimony to God’s reality, and there is no greater proof of this than the saint’s own experience of salvation. It is easy to debate theories, but it is hard to pit theory against personal experience.

The deity of Christ is in solution in every page of the New Testament. Every word that is spoken of Him, every word which He is reported to have spoken of Himself, is spoken on the assumption that He is God. And that is the reason why the “criticism” which addresses itself to eliminating the testimony of the New Testament to the deity of our Lord has set itself a hopeless task. The New Testament itself would have to be eliminated. Nor can we get behind this testimony. Because the deity of Christ is the presupposition of every word of the New Testament, it is impossible to select words out of New Testament from which to construct earlier documents in which the deity of Christ shall not be assumed. The assured conviction of the deity of Christ is coeval with Christianity itself. There never was a Christianity, neither in the times of the Apostles nor since, of which this was not a prime tenet… The supreme proof to every Christian of the deity of his Lord is then his own inner experience of the transforming power of his Lord upon the heart and life. [B. B. Warfield, Article: “The Deity Of Christ,” in The Fundamentals, Vol 2, pp. 241-242, 245. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2008.]

But the matter becomes even more certain as we open up God’s Revelation to His further declarations about His names and titles, and deal with His Personal Name and with all the implications of it. May God grant His grace and wisdom as we endeavor to do so.

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